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
Since I was driving all by my lonesome, I didn’t take any pictures of the things I saw on my way from Tampa to Charlotte. I one-shotted the trip in a single day. It took me a little over 9 hours, even with my GPS derping on me and sending me about 50 miles off course to somewhere north-easterly of where I needed to be.
Why did I drive, you ask? If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been so quiet on Twitter and Facebook the last few weeks, I’ve been on the road and I’m currently in New York for some family time. I’ll be around social media sporadically until I head home in September (and if you’re a Floridian and want to see me, come to my next signing–the Angels & Sinners Tampa Mashup on September 13, 2014 at the Westshore Tampa Double Tree Hotel–because after this I’m taking a break from the con circuit until Coastal Magic in Daytona in February, 2015).
I do want to thank C.J. Ellisson for being a fabulous host and an all around wonderful person for giving me a place to crash on my way up to New York. Thank you, C.J.! Can’t wait to see you (and play another round of Munchkin) again!
Once again, I was thrilled to be an Authors After Dark featured author!
I sat on two panels this year (Vamps and Odd Paranormals) and had a fantastic signing. I’m still amused how many people were sold on the Werewives anthology based on my description of the bitchy werewives in one of the panels.
It was nice to sit in the audience of a few panels, too. Some of the panels Holly and I checked out included ones on Shifters, Urban Fantasy, and Kick-Ass Heroines. We had a total blast!
Here’s an idea of some of the fun times that were had:
And, of course, there were friends I was thrilled to see again:
This barely scratches the surface of everything I saw and did while I was there. I’ll upload more pics to Facebook as soon as I have a few minutes. Check out my albums there later this week if you want to see more!
As for me being my authorly self, I gave out tons of fun things at the paranormal party and I can’t believe I ran out of the ribbons the readers were supposed to collect before it was over! If you haven’t seen them, they are black with silver lettering and say “Doesn’t Play Well With Others”–subtle, right? I even had some bumper stickers made up that said it and ran out of those long before the party was over. Same with the “I went to New York and all I got was this lousy contract” T-shirts.
The signing was great, and I really enjoyed chatting with Bronwyn Green (who sat on my left) and the assistant to the author who sat on my right (I’m kicking myself for not catching her name). I was kept busy almost the entire time, signing, meeting fans, and generally having a good time.
Also this was Holly’s very first signing. (For those of you who aren’t familiar, Holly Rutan is a good friend of mine who occasionally comes with me to conventions. She is also a librarian and now a brand new author! Show her some love! And check out her book, SILVER BOUND, because it’s awesome.)
The Town and The Food
Uptown Charlotte feels like it’s trying too hard to be a cleaner Los Angeles or Manhattan or something. Parts of it are very pretty, but near the Westin (the hotel where the convention was held) it has more upscale office buildings and restaurants than the feel or attractions of a tourist town.
It’s a nice town, but I don’t recommend it if you’re looking for a place with reasonable prices and lots of tourist-y things to do. Even the Starbucks closes at around 5PM on a weeknight and the bulk of the restaurants are of the fancypants and/or expensive varieties that might appeal more to foodies than tourists on a budget.
As for the food, Holly and I spent over $125 (1 shared appetizer, 2 entrees, 3 drinks, and 2 desserts) on our first meal at Mimosa Grill:
Red Ginger was an excellent sushi and hibachi restaurant to visit for lunch, but their service at dinner time was lacking. One of the people I was with for dinner has a severe allergy to certain foods and ordered something off the menu that had to be prepared in the kitchen. We didn’t discover until much later that our waitress never even turned in her order.
What we did have was good, and I can tell you it is very worth going there for hibachi for lunch (I can’t tell you how their sushi was as I don’t care for it), but I don’t recommend it (due to both price and service) for dinner.
We had to walk about 6 blocks to find the much more reasonably priced Valhalla’s Pub & Eatery, which not only had good food…
…but they clearly have a sense of humor about themselves as well.
I also strongly suggest avoiding Mellow Mushroom. Their service was terrible and their food was mediocre at best. We had a party of 10; it took us 30 minutes of waiting to get a table, 20 minutes for the waiter to come for our order, and almost 40 minutes to get our food–and it turned out the order was missing items, which meant more waiting.
About That Giveaway…
If you couldn’t make it to the AAD Convention, I have not one but 3 separate prize packs just for you!
Randomly selected books and swag from the above pictures will go into the themed bags I created for you! Everything you see above will be split into 3 prize packs. Yes–you’ll even get an official Authors After Dark Convention swag bag, complete with cherry-picked promo, swag, a number of ebook download codes, and a random selection of the physical books you see in the picture below, just as if you had come to the con yourself!
This is all thanks to the generosity of the authors listed below (and if they offered 1 or more paperback book, see the note beside their name in parenthesis for the title; no note means they gave ebooks and/or swag). Please be sure to visit the following authors on Facebook and Twitter (and buy their books!) to thank them for playing along:
- Authors After Dark Convention Director: Stella Price** (Make Damn Sure)
- 2014 Authors After Dark Master of Ceremonies: Alexandra Ivy** (When Darkness Comes, The Real Werewives of Vampire County [Anthology])
- Jess Haines** (Enslaved by the Others, The Real Werewives of Vampire County [Anthology])
- Jennifer Estep** (The Spider)
- Carrie Ann Ryan
- Elise Hepner
- C.J. Ellisson
- Holly Rutan
- Bronwyn Green** (Witch Way)
- Leanna Renee Hieber** (A Midwinter Fantasy)
- Allison Pang (A Brush of Darkness)
- Mina Khan** (A Tale of Two Djinns)
- Kelly Meding
- Cecilia Tan** (Slow Satisfaction, Slow Surrender)
- D.S. Kenn** (Set Adrift)
- Nancy Naigle** (Inkblot, Sweet Tea and Secrets)
- Bianca D’Arc (Rocky: Tales of the Were)
- Hildie McQueen** (Big Sky Blue)
(** Indicates author offered 1 or more signed paperback books. Signed books will be randomly divided between the 3 winners.)
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 One of Three 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. 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!
The selection of paperbacks includes titles like:
- A BRUSH OF DARKNESS
- A MIDWINTER FANTASY (anthology)
- A TALE OF TWO DJINNS
- CLOSE TO THE BROKEN HEARTED
- ENSLAVED BY THE OTHERS
- MAKE DAMN SURE
- SET ADRIFT
- SWEET FILTHY BOY
- THE REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY (anthology)
- THE SPIDER
- WHEN DARKNESS COMES
- And many more…
Each winner will get at least 10 paperback books (minimum 3 signed by the author[s]) and 2 (or more) free ebooks.
(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!