Archive for July, 2013

My Book Bash Weekend Wrap-Up

Posted July 11, 2013 By Jennifer

Hello, my lovelies!!

In case you all didn’t already know… I’m a con-a-holic!! I love going to author events, book signings, conventions, etc., and do so as often as I’m able. (Between work and budget, that’s not NEARLY as often as I’d like, lol!!!) That’s part of the reason I started Coastal Magic… but that’s an entirely different blog post, lol!!

For now… I’m going to gush, and squee, and cyber-fangirl about all the awesome that happened two weekends in Orlando, FL, at Book Bash. (Hosted by Maryse from Maryse’s Book Blog.)


– My sister and I got a late start (6 HOURS late!!!) For those of you who know me… this is not a surprise 🙁 For those 6 hours we could have hung out with awesome people… I had a sad face.

– WE ARRIVED!! They had a handful of rooms left at the host hotel, so we got checked in… headed down to pre-registration… and started looking around for people we knew.

– The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful. We chatted briefly with author friends Laura Kaye and Kele Moon, blogger buddy Laura (from Little Read Riding Hood), and were introduced to authors Chelsea M Cameron, Kendall Gray, and Karina Halle.


– After staying up almost all night, for various reasons… we started our day about 10am. Got in line about 11 for the “doors open” at noon. (Talked to a cool couple from somewhere out west, this was her first book event… saw her a couple of times throughout the day.)

– Most of the people I was super excited to meet at Book Bash are writers I’ve been following for a long time. Authors I’ve watched grow from the fanfiction world, into their own publishing world spotlight. I am so incredibly proud of these ladies, and thrilled that they’re doing so well. There were also some authors there that will be attending Coastal Magic Convention as Featured Authors in February!! (And a couple that *may* show up just to party!) It was great to see those ladies, too!!

– Below is a pictoral recreation of our day, with a few notes where necessary. (My sister was my professional, personal photographer for the day! LOL… Thanks, Dolorianne!!)



Me with Debra Anastasia… she is sweet and hilarious, and writes brilliant stories!!


My first visit with Christina Lauren. Just as adorable in person as they are online 🙂 And yes, I stood in their ridiculously long line TWICE, because after I got Beautiful Bastard and Beautiful Stranger signed… I got one of THESE…



Me and Enn Bocci… publicist extraordinaire (and the reason behind the closest I’ve ever come to LITERALLY peeing myself laughing while reading a story). I didn’t realize she would be there, and was absolutely THRILLED to see her!


After chatting online for over a year… I finally got to meet Traci from Omnific!! We had a nice wee chat here… but got to hang out most of the evening at the ANGSTFest Party.


Because tacklehugs and boob gropes are the way we do things, right Alice Clayton?? This woman makes me smile. If you haven’t read WALLBANGER or The Redhead series… ummm… just stop… go now… and pre-order them (they’re up for re-release from Simon & Schuster).


Laura Kaye is someone I look forward to seeing any time I can. Such a sweetheart, and holy WOWZA… her books!! If you’re coming to Coastal Magic, she’ll be back with us again next year! <3



Top Left: w/ Abbi Glines ~~~ Top Right: w/ Chelsea M Cameron (Featured Author at Coastal Magic!)

Bottom Left: Dolorianne w/ Ryan Winfield ~~~ Bottom Right: Rachael Wade (signing at Coastal Magic!)


Chatting for a bit with Tara Sivec, who’s books are high on my TBR list, and who is responsible (via her first book) for the “almost-untimely-death” of my friend Sarah M Ross due to laugh-choking on grapes while reading.


Oh, hai, Rhev!! (or Lothaire, if you prefer)… fancy meeting YOU here!! (w/ Paul Marron)

The pics below are various stages of blur and tomfoolery at the ANGSTFest Party. It was a fantastic way to finish off the night, and I’m so glad I got to hang with these awesome peeps!!!




And my loot for the day… three I came to get signed… the others are new acquisitions 🙂 *pets pretty stack*


I also have a mighty pretty Book Bash swag collection. I’ll probably be doing a giveaway for some of that stuff when I do my “Rec My Weekend” post on Saturday, so keep an eye out for that!!! (There will be two books included in that!)

Also… if you’d like to see more shenanigans (involving more chatting, blurry booty dances, and some “fun with paper napkin penises”… check out my Facebook album for the rest of my Book Bash pics!)

So… those of you reading this… what are your thoughts on big book signings and conventions?? Have you gone? What are your favorites? If you haven’t, would you LIKE to? Are you a swag hoarder like me?

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15 Day Book Blogger Challenge – Day 1

Posted July 11, 2013 By Jennifer

Well… considering how bad I am as following through with these kinds of things, this might be a bad idea… but it sounds like SO MUCH FUN!! So… I’m gonna give it a shot, lol!!! Cross your fingers and let’s see if we can do this, lol!!!

15DayBloggerChallengeSo… April from Good Books and Good Wine created this little 15 day challenge (you can read about what prompted it by clicking on the graphic above). I’m starting about 4 or 5 days behind her, but she says that’s ok… so here goes… my day 1: 15 Book Related Confessions.

  1. I am woefully behind on just about EVERY series I read.
  2. The reason for #1 is that I CAN’T STOP BUYING NEW BOOKS!!
  3. The reason for #2 is that I’m a manager in a bookstore.
  4. I’m a horrible procrastinator, in all things, even book (and book blog) things.
  5. I don’t “baby” my books, they get bent, creased, etc, while reading/transporting.
  6. I MUCH prefer print to ebook.
  7. I have a Nook just so I have a portable way to read ARCs and no-print-option books.
  8. I’m a total HEA kinda girl.
  9. I’ve moved upward and outward, but Twilight is what brought be to all things UF and PNR.
  10. I have a (rapidly filling) shelf dedicated to Twilight fic-to-print.
  11. I have almost as many “TBR” books on my bookshelves as I do “read” books!
  12. I use post-it notes in my books to make notes for review or book club discussion.
  13. I love abs, and butts, and pretty faces… but I’m kinda over the BODY ONLY cover art phase.
  14. I don’t read many Indie books… unless they are very enthusiastically recommended. (Too many really bad experiences.)
  15. I would LOVE to have a review quote on a book cover or lining some day 🙂

Hopefully… I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow with my bedtime reading ritual 🙂 If you  have any “Book Related Confessions” you’d like to share… I’d love to hear them below!! Maybe if we do this together, I’ll actually make it to the end, lol!!!

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MV_twitter_badgeHello, my lovelies!! Today’s special guest is someone you should ALL be familiar with. Rachel Caine is the author of multiple bestselling book series, and writes for both adults and teens. Her wildly popular Morganville Vampires series is coming to an end later this year, but fans plan to extend the life of their favorite story a bit longer. Today is the LAST DAY of a Kickstarter fundraising effort to produce a web series!! Originally, I planned this post both to show my support for the series, and to help direct people to the page (and hopefully, to contribute towards their goal). I’m still doing that, BUT THEY MADE THEIR CAMPAIGN GOAL!!!! Pardon me while I happy dance!!! So… yes, please still go check out the details (click the logo button to the left), and if you’re interested in helping to make Morganville: The Web Series just a little better, consider adding to their pledge total.
In the mean time… Rachel is joining us to talk about something that makes her happy (something BESIDE meeting the Kickstarter goal), HATS!!! For one of the early milestones in the campaign, she posted a video wearing a delightful hat, and I practically begged her to talk more about what prompted that. (To see the hat video, click HERE.)
Rachel_signing_032313_largeHATS MAKE ME HAPPY
I went through a long period of my life completely mystified by the idea of hats. Why would anyone want to put something on their heads? Especially if your hair already looked okay? (Mind you, I grew up in the Southwestern desert of the US, so this tells you a lot about my lack of foresight.)
I think my hat epiphany was at a garage sale about 20 years ago, when I spied a black velvet hat (a toque, if you want to be specific about it) that I picked up and, on a dare, sat on my head. I looked in the handy mirror. Huh, I thought. So that’s kinda neat. It was also a quarter. SOLD. I had bought my first hat.
The second was much like the first, another garage sale acquisition — a weird spidery contraption made of pipe cleaners that appealed to some desire for the bizarre inside me. Then I found a couple of hats at an antique mall. Next came the purchase of a hatbox, to put all the hats in, naturally.hatbox
Then I bought a sunhat, thinking that would be practical and pretty. ERROR. My face and my head and not sunhat-compatible. I quickly got rid of that and turned to more, uh, unusual fare. Pointy witch hats in gaudy colors, for Halloween. Slouch hats, for RenFaires. Fancy little ’40s hats, for … well, I haven’t figured that out quite yet. And even a ball cap or two, though I never get around to wearing them.
I now have vintage hats, modern hats, costume hats, hats for the sun, hats for dramatic evening wear, basically all the hats. The fact that hats are not yet common everyday wear is a sadness to me, but I’m doing my best to bring them back.
Maybe I should run a Kickstarter to produce hats … wait. I’m doing a Kickstarter to do a web series. That makes a lot more sense. (In case you hadn’t heard, we made our $75k goal for MORGANVILLE: THE SERIES and are shooting for the moon with 2 days to go!)
But I’ll bet you’ll see some of my hats on screen on the web series. Because why not.
Here is a shot of some of my hats. I hope they make you giggle.
— Rachel
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Review: DARKSTAR (DarkStar Trilogy, #1) by Carol J Hansen

Posted July 11, 2013 By kellysmithreviews

DarkStarAuthor: Carol J Hansen
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Pages: 404
ISBN #: 9781456582715
FTC Disclaimer: Book was purchased by the reviewer, with no publisher or author involvement.

Fantasy/sci-fi books are supposed to take readers to another plane when they read, make reality disappear for a few blissful hours. That’s exactly what Carol J. Hansen’s debut, self-published novel “DarkStar” does for the reader, not just with the ethereal storyline, but with the raw, purely human emotions she conveys in her prose.

The Warshaw family wizardry’s future, the Mysticryss, is compromised when rightful heir to the “unseen world”, Ayden Warshaw, consorts with black magic and is disowned by the family, leaving younger brother Alec to learn the ropes in a mere three years.

To give seventeen-year-old Alec a taste of normalcy before he begins his serious studies (and to take him away from his nefarious brother’s plans for revenge), his grandfather, the Grand Wizard of Warwickshire, sends him from England to scenic Logan, Utah, USA, to attend public school with his non-magical cousins.  Handsome Alec meets pretty Amrie Morgan, Utah native and friend of his cousin, Nigel. Amrie has been plagued by strange dreams her entire life; dreams that consist of a mysterious presence and a crescent moon with a star enclosed in its tips.

Alec’s family crest is a crescent moon with a star the same ethereal blue as Alec’s eyes enclosed in its tips. The two are inevitably drawn to each other by not just love, but by fate, and as they explore their budding romance, Amrie is also exploring Alec’s oddities, which include seemingly being able to read her mind and turn caterpillars into butterflies. But not only does Alec have to endure his family abhorring his relationship with a “normal”, Amrie has to deal with her best friend Rand’s jealousy of her relationship, as Rand has always loved Amrie, but she has never felt anything more for him than the love of a sibling at best.

But things come to a head when Amrie’s friend Zoe meets a mysterious twenty-year-old guy who expresses excess interest in both Alec and Amrie, and things go further south than ever for the young couple. Alec is faced with danger, death and the use of his still-forming and much resented powers.

Carol J. Hansen’s debut novel explores the concept of magic, both light and dark, and how it effects the mortal world as a whole and humans individually. It shows that wizardry is not only for Harry Potter and that evil could be lurking anywhere–even in a nice little town like Logan, Utah.

I highly recommend this story (the first in a trilogy) to anyone looking for a new way to view magic and romance. It is well-plotted and has a cast of unique characters.

The link below will send you to where you can purchase the book, and also, if you’re interested, you can also purchase the three song EP that accompanies the novel on that link as well, which was written, produced and performed by Matt Lande (ex-StorySide:B and Heaven Is Where). In my opinion, listening to the beautiful lyrics, vocals and music while reading the novel is the ultimate otherworldly experience.

Enjoy your first look into the “unseen world”.

More from Carol Hansen at:

More from musician Matt Lande at:

I definitely give this book (original and the newly republished version) a 5/5. Wonderful work on a debut novel and I am highly anticipating the sequel, Wizard.


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Words & Music Monday with Michele Hauf

Posted July 8, 2013 By Jennifer


Today’s Words & Music Monday features a story that truly brings together those two worlds!!! Huge thanks to Michele Hauf for joining us to talk about her latest Nocturne release, and offer a fantastic prize!!! See details below.

megargoyleI’m excited for readers to finally have the chance to read about Domingos and Lark in my latest vampire romance, BEAUTIFUL DANGER.  The story is set in Paris and is the first in my Order of the Stake mini-series, which features knights in the Order who are vampire hunters.  Lark is the first woman knight, and she has sworn to kill one vampire for every day the vampires kept her husband in captivity before he died—366 kills.  But #72 is proving difficult, and Domingos will force Lark to face her fears and prejudices against the vampire breed.

Since this is Music Monday I’m going to give you all the playlist for this book!  Often, when I’m writing a story certain songs will stand out as either theme songs for the main characters or mood music that really gets my brain in the gear of the story.  I don’t listen to music as I’m writing, but when I’m in the car, or editing, then I crank the tunes.  This story, especially, is filled with music because Domingos is a musician, a cello player.  (Though he gave it up after being transformed to vampire a few years before the story takes place).  I imagine him a sort of heavy-metal/classical cellist a la Apocalyptica.  And Lark plays violin.

So do you think music can help heal a tortured soul?  You’ll have to read the story to find out.


Find Michele here:

@michelehauf  (For the Domingos/Lark board page down to an alphabetical listings of story Characters Boards.)

So, my lovelies… what do you think?? Can music heal?? What picture does THIS music paint of Domingos?? Comment below and enter to win one of TWO copies of BEAUTIFUL DANGER, offered by Michele!!! Contest open until midnight, pacific, on Sunday, July 14th. Good Luck, everyone!!

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