Thursday, December 30, 2010

Be the Brand

Hello! I'm Cara North. Last year was my first year at AAD. I had a blast.
I thought I would share a few tips that I picked up with those who may be new to the event.

If you are an author, or an aspiring author, you are representing your brand(s) from the moment you walk in to this convention. Be prepared to spark conversations with strangers.

Some strategies that work best:

1. Have your card or a small promotional item on you to hand to people you have a sincere conversation with. (This is not the person who you ask to pass the spatula so you can get another slice of dessert). The person you give this item to include: the people at your table when you eat, someone you wait in line with and learn shares the same interests as you do, the reader that you discover in the elevator with everyone's book but yours. My favorite example of this technique was Jae Lynne Davies's strategy. She had her signature hand made bookmark creation in a cute black bag with her card attached. It was small enough to put in my purse or tote bag, but I would not get her confused with anyone else!

2. Never sit in the same seat twice. In fact, don't sit at the same table twice. Try to avoid your friends (you read that correctly) at meals. I sat with a whole new group of strangers at almost each meal. I did make one dinner plan to sit with my friends because I do not get to see them often. However, the trip is about business, and they know this because they are there for the same reason. I needed to sell books, and not to people I already know. I made some great contacts with this strategy. I also sold out of my books by the end of the signing day.

3. If you are lucky enough to get a coveted seat on a panel, be sure to follow some basic courtesy rules:
a. Don't just tell people to buy your book. Obviously you wrote a book or you wouldn't be sitting there.
b. Don't hog the spotlight. be sure to remain on the subject the audience asked and limit your response to a concise answer so that other people have a chance to respond as well. (Yes, even if the question was directed at you, the other people should have a chance to respond also.) If there is a moderator (and there usually is, try to find out the system they use prior to sitting down for the session. Some people use a stopwatch to time answers, others start at one end of the table and go one by one from there. If you have more to say, just make yourself available afterwards. Invite the people to approach you with further questions throughout the conference. Some readers are shy and will not speak out in public.
c. Don't speak negative about anyone else. We all do things differently, there is no right or wrong way.

4. If you are not lucky enough to get on a panel, don't fret, you have more freedom to your schedule and you can participate in the audience by asking thoughtful questions. You might get the attention of others.
You will need to be prepared to market yourself at your publisher's table, if they have one, or by networking like an author who really wants to promote his/her brand. You are your brand. The more you are active and friendly at this conference, the more people will be drawn to you. You will make a bigger impression if you keep a pocket notebook that lets you make notes about people you meet so you can continue to build those relationships once the conference is over.
For example, if you are talking to a reader and she says that her daughter is getting braces next month, you might include a nice "I hope your daughter adjusts to the braces" note in your e-mail to her. These little things can make a big difference. Whether you swap cards or you ask if you can keep in contact via e-mail after the conference, make a note so the person will know you are talking to them, not at them.
I met an editor at the AAD conference and she mentioned that her birthday was Christmas Eve. I made sure to wish her happy birthday on Christmas Eve in a quick e-mail. She doesn't think I am just randomly contacting her. I wrote it down, and I told her I was writing it down so I wouldn't forget her. I personally would not mind if someone took my name and wrote a quick note beside it with my e-mail. I would know that person wanted to remember me when he/she got home. Bring an autograph book and have people you met and want to keep in contact with sign it. Keep track by putting the event, panel, meal on the top of the page. Anything that helps you remember these awesome people you are about to meet!

5. When it's time to party-take caution if you party hard. Remember that the publishing industry may be spread across the nation, but the Internet has equaled the contact playing field. It is not hard to talk to other publishers anymore than talking to other authors. So if you get sauced, you may be putting yourself on a "do not publish" list at some houses. I know the publishers I write for do pay attention to the way people behave. No company can control these things. I don't think it would get a contract cancelled, but if you are there shopping for a publisher, be professional at all times and know your limit if  you decide to party.

6. If you are shopping for a publisher be sure to talk to them if they are there. You don't have to make a formal pitch or even tell them you are an author right off the bat. Ask some questions about the company. It might help you to make a decision and save some time in your submission process. I met a lot of great people, but some houses do not publish what I write, or they are only looking for certain things. I saved myself a lot of trouble in searching for guidelines just by stopping by to say hi and asking what they publish and what they would be publishing in the next year or so. Not every publisher is the right fit for every author. Some have a small network of authors and know them all by name. Others have so many authors they may not know who was standing next to them if they were holding a poster with their book and name on it. Where you fit in will be up to you. It is always nice to meet people in person and get a feel for how they want the company to run.

7. Ask authors who are already published with a house what they think of that publisher. There is no better testimony than word of mouth. Especially when there are so many different places and so many authors who are published by more than one publisher. They can tell you what their experience has been like. If a company publishes erotic romance but the top sellers are sweet romance, you may want to ask where the hotter books are selling. Readers come to trust companies the same way they come to trust an author. If they like one historical, they will likely try more. If they don't they may shun the entire historical line from a publisher. There is no real method to the madness. It is simply a matter of personal preference.

8. Write small and test large. Have something short already written to shop around. It is easier for you and the publisher to test each other out if you have a complete work ready. Many places take short works. So have something between 10-25k ready to go so you can talk about it in addition to your other work.

9. Dress the part. You don't have to come in a business suit to an event like this one, but think about the image you want to display to others. If you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt, that is fine, dress it up with a cute top. One of my favorite casual bunnies was Joy, from Joyfully Reviewed. When she dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, she had her bunny ears on and a logo on her shirt. She was comfortable and yet still marketing! She also dressed up for other meals and/or panels. Leanna Renee Hieber remained in Steampunk attire for the entire conference. There was no way to miss her adorable and interesting outfits!
So you can see, you can go casual and/or go costume and still be professional and present your brand to your target audience.

10. Speaking of clothing, bring a light sweater with you because you never know what the hotel will be like. The AAD staff do not control the weather outside or the temperatures inside the dining or panel rooms. A light sweater got me through when I was sitting under the AC vent at one meal.

11. If you have special diet needs or allergies, don't wait until the last minute to tell someone. A friend of mine is diabetic and she hates some brands of artificial sweetener. She packs her own Splenda packets to avoid issues. Another friend has a child with a peanut allergy. She calls ahead anywhere they go to make sure she can bring her son's food to avoid any reaction he may have to the food at the place. (Think movie theatre, bowling alley, or someones birthday party). If you have allergies, let the hotel people know so you are not waiting to eat because they have to prepare your meal separate.

12. Pre-planning is key. I flew all the way from California with a carry on bag for the last event. The time change kicked my butt, the delayed flight added to my eye strain, and I was starving by the time I landed in New Jersey. A hungry Cara does not represent any brand well, I can assure you! I made sure to leave room for books and goodies for my trip home. I also stocked up on packaged candies and treats so I would have something to snack on in the event I was delayed again. Airport food can really rack up when they are charging 2 bucks for candy I got for free at the conference.  I wore slacks and nice shirts, but I wore my comfortable New Balance shoes. If I was going to be on my feet all day, and aside from meals and panels I was, I needed to be comfortable. Plus, it cut back on what I had to bring with me in my bag.


I hope these 12 tips will come in handy. Hopefully others who have been to the event will add to this blog and give you more ideas and suggestions for representing your brand at a conference. You don't have to spend a lot of money, you just have to spend a little time thinking ahead and making the most of whatever opportunities that you will have before you at AAD!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stella's top 10 hotties of 2010... and other AAD things

Ok so on the personal blog I put up my picks for top 10 hotties of 2010. So go over there and check it out, and comment. Why? Im giving away e books for the holiday season! thats right!

Ok on to AAD things.

1. All radio shows starting in 2011 will be a half hour long. Why? because BTR is trying to get me to pay them 30$ a month to have prime time spots. So all shows will be at 1pm est, non prime time. Yet another fee I wont be paying this year. Nopey.

2. AAD will have its updated list of authors on the website soon. We have two we are waiting on, and Im giving them the courtesy (and trust me guys, you want these authors to attend) because it was so damn hard to contact them in the first place. (hint, they have assistants... )

3. Registrations are going awesome, but we need more readers! The more readers we have, the more free books we will be giving away! So get your friends and family to register and come, cuz the event keeps getting more and more amazing.

4. 2012 dates and location will be announced early 2011. We had a lot of choices and have narrowed it down. Once we get it all in place we will be telling you guys, AND we will have pre reg open at AAD this year for 2012! Stay tuned!

Ok thats it from the peanut gallery. Im back to writing for the day. Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Coming to AAD!!

I'm thrilled to say that I'll be attending AAD in Philly this year!! I'm very excited at the opportunity to meet with my fellow readers!! I'm also in last frantic days of promoting my newest book "Devoured by Darkness" that astonishingly debuted #16 on the New York Times bestseller list as well as #77 on the USA Today bestseller list and #15 on Publisher Weekly. Crazy :) Tomorrow I will be blogging over at Borders.com so if you have an opportunity I would love to have you stop by and say hi!

In other news my boys are now home for the holidays, which is wonderful, but means that not much writing is getting done :) I hope to find some time to sneak away to my office, but I have a feeling that it will have to wait until after the holidays!

I wish the happiest of holidays to all of you and the brightest of New Years! May all your dreams come true :)

Best,
Alex

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kit Marlowe's The Mangrove Legacy

Today marks the release date of Tease Publishing's newest author, Kit Marlowe and her comic Gothic novel, The Mangrove Legacy. Look at that gorgeous Stella Price cover!


Visit her Facebook fan page and comment for a chance to win a copy of this rollicking romance. You can read an excerpt at Kit's website to get a feel for this historical romance. Alice and Lizzie encounter wild adventures when they're kidnapped from Alice's father's funeral cortege, bereft without even an entertaining book to read. Watch the trailer here:





If you don't want to wait, you can buy the book at All Romance eBooks (have you checked out all their free holiday reads?). Drop by Kit's Amazon page, too, where you'll find her novella The Big Splash, a madcap romance set in  Jazz Age London.

Monday, December 13, 2010

AAD Author Acceptance closes Dec. 15th

Yes, I realize its 2 days away, but OMG we have had SUCH an amazing response on authors this year we have to maintain the author / reader ratio.

Authors have been contacted, so I'm waiting to hear back from them (especially the ones that have been Nominated for a Bookie this year!). Very excited we have so many amazing authors coming, and that they are coming because they wanna hangout with READERS and help us continue events like this to ensure readers arent charged an arm and a leg to do conventions!

Also, the BOOKIE AWARDS will be closing voting on the 15th as well. We have well over 650 votes right now, and we hope that some of those voters will consider attending the event in August, take part in the 2012 nominations, and get all the awesome goodies and free books they can carry.

Oh didnt I mention that? Yes, if you attend AAD this year you will be able to help NOMINATE for the 2012 convention awards... and I'm NOT telling you WHERE AAD is going to be for 2012, not yet anyway, but rest assured, its going to be freaking amazing!

So get your registrations and votes in guys! this is going to be one HELL of a year! And be on the look out for some of our awesome authors posting about the parties and goodies and events they will be doing... Scavenger hunts, midnight movie parties, workshops, you name it! Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Release Party and More From an AAD Author


My steampunk erotic romance Mrs. Bright's Tea Room will be released on Wed., Dec. 15th. I'll be having a release party and contest on the next day on Nights of Passion blog. http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com
Join us enter the contest, asks questions, dress casually, have some fun.


Also the voting for the Bookie Awards is still open.
My work has been nominated for 3 Bookie Awards. If you haven't gotten the chance to vote.

If this is the first you’ve heard about it, I’d love your vote at: http://www.authorsafterdark.net/bookieawards.html

Vampire in the Basement – Best Shifter Short Story in Poll 1 & Vampire Short of the Year in Poll 4 and

Poseidon’ s Catch for Best Fantasy Short in Poll 2.

Last but not least, this is an invitation to receive my occasional and very confidential newsletter. All you have to do is email me at onlyladyknight(at)yahoo(dot)com and put Newsletter in the subject line. I will be having a special contest for the Newsletter subscribers in January.


Thanks.

--Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley
http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sneak Preview of Dead Barchetta

I am pleased to announce that my alter ago will debut a new mystery/thriller in a few weeks. Dead Barchetta is a labor of love that's taken years to right, and if you love the madcap style of Kinky Friedman or Carl Hiaasen, I think you're going to enjoy this one as well. If you don't, find somebody who does. Tis the season of giving after all. ;-)

My gift to you today is a sneak preview of the book, which will release in eBook from DLP Books on 12.21.10. Enjoy!

Copyright 2010 Kathryn Lively

Smoke.

It certainly looked like that, anyway, as my vision slowly clouded into a swirling, opaque white mess that stung.

Maybe somebody had turned off the A/C and left us all to stifle in the heat radiating from our bodies. Or, perhaps only I sensed the temperature shift and suffered as a result. Nobody else in my diminishing line of vision appeared affected by the sudden and perplexing change of atmosphere. The band played on, obviously working around my disorientation, while the crowed rocked right along with them.

Smoke—a fire in the house, really—formed my first conscious thought when my dream took a sharp right turn toward discomfort. One minute I was standing on a lighted, hardwood stage shredding through “Back in the Saddle” while Steven Tyler screeched and preened at my left—the next, my breathing slowed and a heavy mass seeped into my lungs. A dizzying sensation overtook me, forcing me to kneel as the weight of my Gibson dragged me toward the cheering throng of fans crowding the stage’s lip.

Nobody seemed to care that I had been felled by the invisible tourniquet wrapped around my neck, which squeezed me tightly. Mr. Tyler danced and strutted, oblivious, and goaded the line of busty blondes in painted-on white shirts jiggling against the stage.

“Ya’ll here to rock?” His voice pitched close to a dog-wincing octave. Then he turned to me. “How ‘bout you, Lerxst boy? You gonna rock out for us tonight or you gonna lie there like a worthless piece of shit slug?”

I gasped for breath, but managed to squeak out an answer. The Gibson had become my albatross. “Tryin’, man. Little help? Joe?”

Where the fuck was Joe?

The dream shifted to omniscient vision, and I spied Mr. Perry standing far stage right, lost in his guitar. Christ. What good was a dream about hanging with great musicians if they wouldn’t lift a finger to ensure your safety?

Steven Tyler proved less apt to assist. A spotlight darkened by a purplish gel turned his weathered face into an eerie voodoo mask. He grinned ghoulishly at me, shouting over the music and chaos. “You gonna rock out for us, Lerxst?”

Who could say no to that? Coming from this diesel truck-faced grandpa swathed in scarves, the question held more authority here than if asked by anybody else.

“Yes, sir.” I barely heard myself.

“You gonna rawwwwwk!?”

“Yes, sir!”

He leered at me. “You gonna die? You gonna die for me, you son of a bitch?”

* * * *

Die?

In seconds the smoke turned black and scratched my face. Aerosmith and company faded into the ringing noise filling my head. They had left me onstage to die. Only seconds earlier the crowd had chanted my name and urged my fingers to speed over my Gibson’s fingerboard and guide them all toward melodious orgasm. Now, nobody cared to even help me to my feet as they apparently plummeted as one through some floor-wide trap door.

Not even the person holding the pillow to my face gave a damn that I had awakened from my dream squirming and scraping for something to grasp.

“Wha—?”

Shit.

I thought at first Grandma had let my friend Joel, also my band’s bassist and lead singer, inside to wake me. Joel, having barely passed the high school sciences, likely couldn’t make the connection between the existence of oxygen and its role in the preservation of life. Either that, or he’d decided to act like his usual dickhead self and used a free hand to record everything on his phone for a planned viral laugh among our friends and the rest of the free world.

As the pillow bore down against my face, I managed to turn my head toward a shallow pocket of air deep into the sofa’s cushions, and after a ragged inhale I kicked my attacker away with all my might.

“Shit!” came a surprised curse, then the sound of a body hitting the carpet. I might have stalled upright at the shock of hearing a female voice had not the dream transition—the lingering tang of imaginary smoke, the urgency in a leathery rock star’s evil glare—juiced me into action. I sprang to my feet, grounding myself in anticipation of another assault, then happened to glance at the lighted clock on the DVD player.

Three AM, with only the yellow glow of the streetlamps filtering in through the living room window to reveal the intruder.

“What the fuck?” I cried, looking down at her. I’d fended off a burglar, and a wispy girl one, near as I could tell from the narrow hourglass outline rising before me. A dark ponytail bobbed behind her head as she righted her jacket and raised her hands in some kind of quasi-karate pose.

“Did you just ask me if I was gonna die, bitch?” I demanded of her. She said nothing, and didn’t move. So far, I couldn’t tell if Steven Tyler’s voice would come out of that mouth.

I side-stepped toward the end table nearest the wall and switched the three-way lamp on to the highest setting. There I saw illuminated fear creasing her brow and twitching, full pink lips marred by nervous chewing from a slight overbite. Low-slung, green and brown plaid pants covered lean legs, and her dark green hoodie—pull string missing—just reached her bare midriff.

My would-be murderess looked as though she’d stepped off the set of a fad teen musical.

The expression on her face mixed confusion with anger—soft kelly eyes appraised my height, then widened. She should have finished the job when she had me unawares, she no doubt realized. Pressed harder against the pillow, or bashed in my skull with the fireplace poker. I guessed, however, that she’d chosen suffocation to make death appear more natural and less inflicted.

Then came four words I didn’t expect. Instead of hand over your wallet, I got, “How old are you?”

“What?” When another dizzying sensation attempted to topple me I grasped the sofa arm for support and pulled myself straight again, shaking away the disorientation left from the aborted suffocation. “How about I ask the questions? Like, who the hell are you and why are you in my house?”

Her hands remained high and prepared to chop, slicing into my view of her pretty, angular face. I could take her easily, being heavier and carrying more muscle. That she chose to stay put rather than try to run amused me, I had to admit.

“Is your name Matt Johnston?” she asked.

I didn’t expect that, either. What burglar checks credentials?

Anyway, I haven’t gone by my given name in years. Everybody—friends, my pupils…even my grandmother calls me Lerxst, the nickname given me in junior high. Why did this girl care? “Yes,” I said cautiously. “Would you prefer we be formally introduced before you kill me?”

That question quickly twisted her face into a kind of queasy frown, and her hands dropped to her sides. “Holy shit,” she said on a heavy breath, “I was going to kill you, wasn’t I?” Her eyes glazed over with unshed tears, shining in the lamp’s glare. “What are you, twenty?”

“Twenty-five. What does this—”

“Oh, God.” She staggered back a step and her calf caught the edge of Grandma’s rocking chair. She fell into it, leaden and morose, and the oak creaked under the force. Only then I remembered my grandmother was away with her Red Hat friends until late Saturday morning, so at least she’d been spared this drama.

I considered my next step. I saw nothing in the immediate vicinity I could use to restrain her—no electrical cord that wasn’t attached to a lamp or some other bulky appliance. My phone sat in the kitchen plugged into its charger, but I didn’t want to leave the room. She looked comfortable now, but sure enough I’d take one step out and she’d bolt for the front door.

After all, she had my name, I didn’t have hers. I envisioned the reaction of the cops when I revealed that—Why didn’t you serve her tea afterward? I’d probably hear.

I waited, and watched. The girl curled her hands over the carved ends of the chair’s arms, instinctively rocking back so that her heels rose. She held that position for what seemed like a full minute before speaking again.

“You are Matt Johnston?” she asked again, with greater uncertainty in her voice. “Not Johnson or Johannson or St. John or anything like that?”

I no longer felt threatened, and I sensed she wanted to talk, so I perched on the couch opposite her. “I said yes earlier. Now, who are you?” I asked, yet she ignored it. Instead she pulled a wrinkled envelope from her back jeans pocket and handed it to me.

“Did you write this?” she asked me.

I didn’t need to study the yellowed letter for long. Who writes letters anymore? Back in the dark ages before the Internet, the most anybody could get out of me was an illegible five- or six-word missive scribbled in a greeting card. This typewritten essay, complete with the addressee block and proper salutation I’d been taught in Mrs. Kowalski’s fourth-grade language arts class, assuredly surpassed any effort I might have undertaken.

“No.” I handed it back. “For one, we don’t have a typewriter, and I rarely used one except for school assignments. I hated them. For two, that postmark is as old as I am.” Who knew that burglars delivered, twenty years late? “Please tell me who you are and how you got in here, and why you tried to kill me.”

She fingered the faded ink address, sniffling. “I’m looking for Matt Johnston,” she said. “He killed my father.”

* * * *

I’m a sucker for a pretty face and a slender build—and dark red hair, too. I’d hit the trifecta with this one.

At any other place, on a weekend night in some club at the beach, I might have seen this pretty auburn-haired girl in her tight pants and peek-a-boo top and mustered the courage to make conversation. Left-brain logic nagged at me to pin her to the ground and scream until somebody called the cops, but somehow my inner compassion had overpowered that.

Besides, anybody checking the picture window might see me on top on her and give me the thumbs up rather than assist in her apprehension.

Now, the girl—she called herself Diane—sat across from me at the kitchen table at three in the morning.

Stop thinking with your dick and reach for the phone, Lefty cried. The fuck are you doing, sitting with her in the room with all the knives?

My dick offered nothing for rebuttal.

Diane tapped a corner of the letter against the Formica surface of the table, ignoring the soda can I’d set before her. “I am such a fucking idiot,” she said, gaze downcast.

I sipped from my own can. Sleepless nights and early mornings I could handle, but I needed the caffeine boost in order to think clearly. “How did you get in without my knowing?”

“You were zonked out on the couch,” she said, annoyed, then shrugged toward the side kitchen door. “And the door was unlocked. I’d been watching the house for a few days to get a feel for everybody coming in and out. When I saw the old lady—”

“My grandmother,” I broke in. Grandma might not have minded the “old lady” crack, but in truth she wasn’t that old. In fact, people often mistook her for my mother. It happens when the women in your family hold fast to the tradition of giving birth in their teens.

“Right.” She sighed. “I tried the side door first. Actually, I didn’t know what I’d have done if it was locked.”

“Not murder me? Go home and forget about it?”

Her lower lip quivered.

“Look,” I told her, “I don’t know you, but I don’t believe you’re an idiot. You just didn’t think this whole plan of revenge through. You managed to case the place without my knowing, and as I consider myself somewhat observant, I’d say there’s a point in your favor.”

Easier spoken than practiced. It then occurred to me that I should have checked her person for a gun or some kind of weapon. Of course, had she a gun she could have used it on me and been out of here without needing to smother me.

Unless, she truly had planned to make my death look accidental, just another hapless drunk who didn’t flip over in time. If only I’d spent the evening schnockered…

Christ. Too many thoughts flooded my brain at fucking three in the morning. I just wanted to go back to sleep and finish that set with Aerosmith.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “I forget what name you go by again?”

“Lerxst.” I tried to sound it out as best I could for a guy about to drop and snore. “Lurks-st.”

She tried it on her tongue a few times, then finally shook her head. “What kind of weird name is that? Like a Dungeon and Dragons thing?”

I had to laugh. “I take it you’re not a Rush fan.”

“I’m not into talk radio, or politics,” she said.

“Not that one.” Jesus. “I meant the band.”

“Ohhh.” She nodded and pinched her face into mental research mode. “It’s a song, then?”

“The guitarist, actually. Back in junior high my hair was a bit longer and I sort of resembled him from his shaggy seventies days, so my older brother christened me Lerxst, which was the guitarist’s nickname. I guess it’s fitting, since I play and teach guitar now.”

“Really? Are you in a band?”

I nodded. Why couldn’t I be this smooth in a bar on a Friday night? “A cover band, mainly. Me and two friends and the entire Rush and Grateful Dead catalogs. We hit the local bars and sometimes the Outer Banks in the summer. We call ourselves Dead Barchetta.”

I saw it immediately, that quizzical brow displayed only by one who didn’t get the play on words. Women mostly.

“Rush has this song, ‘Red Barchetta,’” I began, and watched clarity dawn quickly, “and…we’re getting way off track here.” Much I love talking shop, this wasn’t the time for it. “What made you think I killed your father? I have never done anything like that.” Seriously. Not even a traffic ticket. I couldn’t recall refusing anybody a kidney in recent weeks, either. “I don’t even know your father, I don’t think.”

Diane pulled out a second crinkled letter, this time from the front pocket of her hoodie. “You remember this TV show from the late eighties, called Code Blue?”

“No.” How the hell could I? I was born in 1985. During the late eighties I was trying to pick out Elmo’s greatest hits by ear on the replica Stratocaster my grandfather got me. What surprised me, too, is that she somehow did recall it. “Does it rerun on Nick at Nite or something.”

Diane rolled her eyes. “It won’t rerun anywhere, and you won’t find it on DVD because there weren’t enough episodes made. It was canned halfway into its first season.”

I finished my soda and eyed hers. Sensing my need for more caffeine—I had a feeling I’d need it for this roundabout verbal odyssey—she pushed the can in my direction.

“My father was the star of that show,” she said. “His name was Alan Peterson and he was a New York-based actor. Until he got this series, he mainly did guest star work and bit parts.”

“Okay.” Relevancy, at last. Nice to meet you. “So he’s one of those ‘you probably remember me from such films as…’ fill in the blank actors.”

From the soured look on her face, it probably wasn’t the way she would have put it, but then I knew nothing about the man she initially thought I’d killed.

“He could have been much more than that,” Diane said, with an edge of irritation to her voice. “Code Blue had received all this critical acclaim during previews, and talk of awards, and there were nominations eventually…yet the show still got pulled thanks to some letters from viewers that complained about the show’s content.”

Again she handed me the letter from the other Matt Johnston, and I took care in reading it this time. Apparently this guy didn’t take kindly to issues presented on the urban cop and EMT drama, such as drug abuse and homosexuality—topics one might see on Sesame Street these days. Clearly Code Blue had been a show ahead of its time. Ahead of me, most definitely.

I looked at the return address. “This guy lives in Lynchburg,” I said. “You’re a bit off.”

“Lived,” Diane said. “He’s not at that address anymore, I checked. When I found the listing for Matt Johnston in Virginia Beach, I figured he moved. Made sense to me at the time.” She shrugged.

Entirely probable, in a mind like hers.

“I’m sorry all that happened, but we’re talking twenty years ago here.” I returned the letter. I had to admit I felt a bit insulted that Diane would mistake me for a much older man. Assuming this other Matt Johnston had been a teenager when he filed this complaint, adding twenty years would still put him close to forty. Yes, I’m a musician, but I’m fairly clean. I’m not on the Aerosmith hard-living, rapid-aging plan.

She seemed to just catch that, too, but with it being three-fifteen AM now I figured I shouldn’t fault her.

“Are you a junior, by any chance?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Not that it makes a difference, since I didn’t kill your dad, but my dad’s name was George, and he’s dead, too.”

“Sorry.”

“No worries. I was a kid then, and I couldn’t tell you what he watched on TV. I still don’t get why you’re upset about a twenty-year-old letter. Didn’t your dad find more work after the cancellation?”

“He did, but Code Blue was to have been his big break. I mean, everybody was into blue-collar drama shows then. He could have worked five or six seasons, spring-boarded into feature film roles or even headlining Broadway during the summer hiatuses…” The letter crinkled and twisted in her grip. “A long first run can also mean a decent syndication package, too, and residuals from that and video sales. But, after the show was pulled, it was like somebody put a curse on him. Dad couldn’t get anything beyond walk-on parts and commercials after that. Until…”

Tears brimmed in her eyes. The second letter slid in my direction, and I pulled it from the envelope to read. Three sentences in, I realized Diane had handed me her father’s suicide note.

“I don’t think common people really are aware of how much power they leverage in the industry,” she said, her voice breaking. “Four letters of complaint took Code Blue off the air and cost a lot of people their jobs.”

Four? Hardly the avalanche of protests I’d conjured in my head earlier, but seeing Diane so distraught I elected to just read.

Alan Peterson likely had more demons than he cared to admit in his farewell, but he named one specifically. How or when the actor got a hold of the mail he blamed for torpedoing his career seemed irrelevant now, anyway. This girl broke into my house, unprovoked, and tried to kill me. I, the sympathetic dolt, gave her a soda and place to sit. She should be sitting in jail.

“When did your father ki—er, die?”

“About two years after the show went off the air. My mom discovered after that she was pregnant with me.” Diane’s gaze panned everywhere but in my direction. Searching for an escape, too guilty to face me, who knew? Apparently three-twenty in the morning had that effect on her.

“You never even knew the man and you want to exact revenge anyway?” I tossed the letter back.

“He’s still my father,” she snapped and rocked in her seat. Her mouth dropped open and I waited for words to justify her actions.

“I always felt like somebody had to pay for this, you know? For robbing me of my family.” She looked at me, pained and confused, then gazed around the kitchen again as though taking in the surreal moment. It troubled me, too, to accept this wasn’t a detour in my dream, but the kitchen remained cold for early May in Virginia Beach.

“My mother hung onto this until she died, and I keep this letter with me everywhere I go. Figured if I could get Matt Johnston to realize how many lives he’d ruined, my father could at least rest in peace. So I hopped the Chinatown bus here; it’s sixty bucks round trip.”

“There were three other letters that got your dad fired. Did you plan a spree?”

Diane twined her fingers into a knotted ball, resting them on the table. “I only found two addresses,” she said. “Matt Johnston and one other lady in New Jersey. She’s already dead.”

Lucky her.

“I’m sorry this all happened, Diane,” I said. “I’m sorry some asshole felt it was his duty to get a show cancelled when he could have just not watched it if he didn’t like it. But, I don’t see how killing me, anybody, would benefit you or your father.”

“I have to watch his stuff on YouTube, when I can find it,” she said, ignoring me, “to get an idea of what he was like. Mom said he drank a lot before he died. Said losing that show was the worst thing to happen to him, and how things could have been much better for us if they went a few seasons more. There would have been money and more work…he would have lived to see me being born.”

“Can you honestly say that, about the work?” I asked. “How many TV shows are produced in a year? It might be more now than back in the eighties, but even if Code Blue lasted ten seasons do you think film roles and the A-list were guaranteed for your dad?” Anybody know what the cast of Ally McBeal is up to these days? I sure as hell don’t. “What if he’d ended up doing commercials and bit parts afterwards regardless of the show’s run?”

Diane didn’t answer. Struck me that Alan Peterson had been the type to blame others for his misfortunes rather than work to overcome them. I’d say this to Diane, but the risk of provoking her loomed large in my head.

Besides, I was the one pissed at her. I needed to remain the angry one here.

Finally I stood. My chair nudged the linoleum underfoot. “I need to make a phone call.”

Her tear-filled eyes pleaded with me. “I don’t want to go to jail. I didn’t kill you, you’re fine.”

“Am I really? Some chick breaks into my house and tries to smother me in my sleep, and I offer her hospitality instead of tying her up so she won’t get to me again. Clearly I’ve been deprived of some oxygen to display such a lack of common sense.”

“If I’d wanted to kill you, I’d have done it by now. Please!” she cried. Her hands played with the frayed hem of her hoodie. Fidgeting usually spoke to me as a sign of planning, restlessness. Gears worked in her head that she didn’t want me to see—her silent perusal of the kitchen could have been a plan to reach for an unattended knife or corkscrew to finish the job. She had plenty of time before sunrise.

“Well, you’re obviously not all there,” I said, and reached for the phone to detach it from the charger. First mistake, I turned my head. The second she left my line of vision I heard a deep scrape of chair legs.

“Hey!”

She got to the side kitchen door—the same unlocked one she’d used to get in—before I could move, and hit the pavement running. Even though a shot of adrenaline boosted me out to the dark sidewalk in seconds, she’d had enough of a head start. Not a trace of her under the lamplights. Where the house sat, so close to the ocean, she could have quickly slipped down the public beach access walkway and started a brisk run down the shore, or else ducked through any of the fenceless yards into the thick brush dividing the neighborhoods from Shore Drive.

Whichever route she’d taken, she hadn’t looked back.

“Damn it.”

I left her to the dying night and went back into the house, setting the chain this time. What sleep I managed before my alarm went off filled my head with visions of Steven Tyler chasing me around the stage with a pillow, screeching for me to die, son of a bitch!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top 10 reasons to attend AAD Philly


So I have been hearing a lot about cons and other short of events, and I think its about time I explain why AAD is the best choice for your con-going needs!

1. AAD is the CHEAPEST convention in romance fandom! at $130 for registration, all your meals are included in this price, which NO OTHER con does for that price. And the food? AMAZING! I don't sign with a hotel that has crappy food, So many out there, why settle for nasty food?

2. AAD is the ONLY con that welcomes all forms of authoring, be it NY published, Small Press, E pubbed or self pubbed. We offer both a regular signing for print and a e book signing as well.

3.NO authors are above others at AAD, everyone is equal. We all made the journey into publishing, and succeeded, no one is better then anyone else.

4. AAD is the ONLY con that offers a in house tattoo artist! That's right, our awesome tattoo guy, Geoff, is on hand all weekend to provide for all your tattooing (and piercing) needs.

5. AAD has the most amount of books as goodies! This past year we gave away over 3000, and are planning on at least 4000 for this year, from amazing publishers like Pocket, TOR, Kensington, MLR Press, Tease Publishing, NAL and Sourcebooks! No other con gives away as many books as we do, and this year, you'll be able to get E BOOKS for free as well!

6. AAD is a more laid back con, bringing readers and authors together. Authors hangout with you, sit at your table at dinner, party with you and of course, talk about the one thing that brings us all there, BOOKS!

7. AAD is a Not For Profit, making it the only one in romance fandom as well. What does this mean? It means we dont do this to make money off you, we do it to further the Author/ Reader relationship. Without readers, authors would be outta business... and we love you for every book you read and every author you support. At AAD Readers Rule Romance!

8. at AAD bloggers are amazing! Bloggers are the backbone of this industry. Forget review sites, Readers trust their friends for recommendations, and as close knit as the romance community is, most voracious readers are also bloggers. We reward them for keeping this industry alive with ARC's goodies and special events, because we love them.

9. AAD also has a stunning writers track, lead by authors and industry professionals, sure to help you on your way to publication. We offer some amazing editors and agents for our appointments, and because we limit the amount of time they are "working" they have a good time as well. At most cons, your stuck with a 8 minute appointment to make an impression. At AAD, Editors and Agents hangout, and sit with you through the weekend, cultivating relationships!

10. Last but not least, AAD has some of the best authors in romance today attending, not because they are being paid to, or because they are being offered something, but because they want to meet and hangout with you, the reader. Everyone at AAD is approachable, because we make sure the environment is not stressed and is just a big old party they can enjoy as well. Check our website for the full list, it keeps growing because they are all looking for quality time with their fans!


Now, maybe I'm just biased, but I really think AAD is the best value for your money when your choosing a con. I mean it isn't about making money, well not in the sense other cons are. AAD is about making money through BOOKS, not to slip into my or the organizations pockets. Everything extra we collect goes to an animal charity, this year its once again, Pets Alive. Every book sold at this cons helps to further each of us in this industry, and allows us to keep writing, and giving you all beautiful and sexy stories to fall in love with. Its why its so cheap, so YOU the reader can keep buying the books you love, and not have to dip into your 401k to meet the authors you really wanna meet. Utopian? Nah. Just realistic. Spending oodles of cash on a con is not going to make sure you can buy books, it only puts the money into the cons pockets, not the authors, and isn't that what we want?

Questions? Comments? Concerns? I'm open to them all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the Bookies are open for voting!

CLICK HERE and let the voting begin! Good Luck to all the Nominees!

So Cloooooose :)

Wow, I can't believe that it's only ten days until the release of Tane's story :) I'm not sure if it's been the rocking weather, or just being piled under deadlines, but I somehow missed the last of summer and most of the fall!! Now Thanksgiving is almost here, my boys are headed home from college and I scrambling like mad to do a little last minute shout out for Devoured by Darkness :) I'm still hoping I can make it to AAD this year (I'm waiting for final tuition costs to come rolling in :((( And I would love to be able to join the fun. Until then I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving and that you're time with friends and family is blessed.
Oh, I hope that you have a yummy stack of TBRs by the bed to keep you warm as the cold weather settles in!!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Alex

Monday, November 15, 2010

Steampunk styles for AAD 2011 Post One

Hey guys!

So i know you guys are all rocking hard on trying to figure out what to wear for the Steampunk Ball, and Imma help you all! Yes I am. So today marks the first of the Steampunk "What to wear" series on the AAD blog. Trust me guys, I wear these clothes myself, I wouldnt be playing with you.

Today is skirt day. Now this skirt is one that is easy to pair with a bustle, corset and shirt, that will totally make the outfit. It comes in three colors, Blue, Black and White, and all of them are made of soft Jersey material so they have a bit of give, and they BREATHE so you will have an easy time wearing it. Whats cooler? It comes in both regular and plus sizes, and works for both costuming and for actual everyday wear. This is a FLOOR LENGTH skirt, and it flares at the bottom to give it a kind of mermaid style look.

Standard size approx. length: 41.5 inches; Plus size approx. length: 41.7 inches. It is86% polyester / 14% spandex; and is completely Machine washable, which makes it doubly desirable. So the price for this little beauty? $39.95. Not bad right? You can purchase it HERE.

So... YOu like it? Well I will have more suggestions! Check my personal blog and here once a week, And youll have a great idea of some awesome clothes for your costumes!

New Paranormal from Bianca D'Arc

My turn to blog again already? Wow. Okay... well... lots going on, as usual. Since last we spoke, I had a new release: A DARKER SHADE OF DEAD. It's the second novel in my military paranormal romance series from Kensington Brava that started with ONCE BITTEN, TWICE DEAD. There will be one more in this series, releasing sometime next year, called DEAD ALERT. I'm working on the edits for that right now and it's a heck of an adventure! (If I do say so myself.) ;-)

A DARKER SHADE OF DEAD has been getting great reviews and I'm really pleased with reader response to it. It's a little bit of a different sort of book. It's hot romance with a studly Special Forces hero and his brainy heroine going after zombie bad guys and mad scientists. Lots of adventure. Lots of fun. Not too scary, I don't think. This isn't horror, so even though you hear the word "zombie" please don't think it's full of blood and gore. It's a romance, people! LOL!

Publishers Weekly said: "Zombie fighters find love in the light, sexy sequel to April 2010's Once Bitten, Twice Dead....plenty of zombie action and steamy romance..." And Coffee Time Romance called it "...a strangely sultry and action packed read...tantalizing and mysterious." Cool, huh?

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, I'd like to thank you all for nominating my website in the Bookie Awards. I really appreciate the nod. I put in a lot of time on my website (although I need to do some updating right now) and it's nice to know the effort is appreciated. *mwah!*

I'll be working on updates to my site as time allows. I'm also finishing edits on my last zombie book for Brava and polishing up proposals for new series. I have lots of writing to do and will be working on new books in all my series for Samhain. It'll just take a little while to get them in the pipeline for release. Hopefully next year I'll have a lot of new material coming out. I'll keep you all posted as I find out the particulars. Meanwhile, I've got a lot of work to do! :)

Bianca D'Arc
Come over to The D'Arc Side... www.biancadarc.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wanna win your way into AAD?

The Smut Vixens have your way in!

Pop over to their blog and check it all out! CLICK HERE

And I wanna thank you all for your registrations, you have validated this event once again!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogger announcement

Ahoy everyone!

Ok so we had 20 bloggers sign up and as of RIGHT now, I only have room for 12 for the blogger bags. These will be special bags of books that will be given out. Now Why only 12? because they will have ARC's and special edition stuff from the publishers, and the most I can assure getting from them right now is a dozen. Now, in the event that I CAN get more stuff, I will be adding more. As of now the Bloggers not chosen in the below list (and they were chosen using random.org) are the ONLY ones that will be offered blogger spots should spots open up.

ALL those that have registered as Bloggers will be able to participate in the blogger programming, and parties, but unfortunately, I cant guarantee ARC's to anyone but these 12:

Lillie H
Lady Grace
Qwill
Ali (Simply Ali)
Robin K
Jojo (Jojo's book corner)
Mandi (Smexy Books)
Tigris Eden
Bells
Larissa (Larissa's Life)
Minxy (loose knickers)
Sarah (Sarah's reviews)

So congrats, and We are building an AMAZING track of programing for you all! I cant wait to talk about it!

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Registration information: PLEASE READ!

Hey all.

So Pay pal is being a big old dirty bum and isnt letting me use the new account we set up for AAD till they figure some stuff out. That doesnt mean Im not opening registration. But it does mean that you guys cant pay for it yet. So this is how we are going to do it.

At NOON EASTERN TIME I will be opening the registration form on the website. This will ensure everyone doesnt grab the pitchforks and call for my blood and a good hanging tomorrow afternoon. Honestly I dont look good in rope.

The second Pay Pal lets me use the damn account, I will be emailing everyone that registers to revisit the site, and click the pay pal button. The you will be able to pay for it. I'm sorry about the 2 time visit to the registration page, but at this point its the only way I can do it.

I believe that the hotel will be open as well tomorrow, so check that as well! Don't forget, get your registrations in ASAP, to make sure you have a room available. (wouldnt it be awesome if we sold out of our roomblock????!)

For those that dont know, AAD is doing this year without a backer, which means that we had to open all new accounts and such, as well as incorporate as a NFP (Not for Profit). This is the reason why its been so hard to get everything done. Now in the long run this is an amazing thing, and we still are committed to making this the cheapest event in romance fandom.

So I know you are ready to rock (cuz I am!) Tomorrow starts the insanity!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Big AAD news!!!!

Ok guys!

Well its Friday, the website is loading up so you can see all the awesome goodness that we have in store (well the beginnings of it, I swear theres lots being figured out as we speak!) but i wanted to give you guys the big big news!

We have a new Master of Ceremonies for AAD this year and we are all tickled pink to have the ever lovely and talented LARISSA IONE!!!! Yes I know! Totally excited here, especially because this will also be Larissa's first AAD and shes up for a BUNCH of awards in the Bookies!

Now... on to more awesome news...

We were told this morning that BORDERS will be out bookseller this year! Very excited, especially because the BORDERS closest to the hotel is all of 2 blocks away! This is very advantageous to everyone!

The Authors After Dark Website is up and running, and I have a date for registration and room reservations to open: NOVEMBER 10th! And just an FYI, the hotel told me to make the attendees aware of the fact that they normally sell out of saturdays, and WILL dip into our room block if they have to.

So who is excited? I'm so excited! Ok off to get some work done!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Website, updates and registration info


Hey All!

Sorry I have been quiet on this end, pertaining to AAD info, but I have some right now I wanted to get out to all of you. So shall I?

The AAD website will hopefully be up by the 5th. Why the wait? I'm making sure we get all the info on it and its up to date. We have some awesome things involved this year, and there's a lot of stuff to add in, so I'm making sure its perfect.

AAD Registration opens on November 10th. Excited? I bet you are! I know I'm really excited to see all the new amazing authors and attendees that are planning on joining us this year! So for those that have sent me emails with questions, allow me to address them here:

YES: we will have writing workshops set up for authors, run by some of the best authors out there today including Zoe Archer, Allie Boniface, C.J. Henderson, and Tilly Greene so far, so Check out the AUTHORS CORNER page for updates!

YES: We will have 2 nighttime parties, A Mythos Masquerade and the Steampunk Ball. Both will follow dinners and will run several hours.

YES: We will have special events this year that will be 'Ticketed'. This means that there is a limited number of people able to attend these events, so those that are really interested will buy a ticket, and ALL PROCEEDS from these events will go to the charities this year.

YES: WE will have a tattoo artist attending again this year, 2 actually, and will have a full roster of vendors in our After Dark Bazaar! Bath and body, jewelry, clothing, handbags... I will be posting about the finalized count in a few months!

YES: we will have agent and editor appointments this year, though limited. More on that as we get closer, Appointment registration opens June 15th.

YES: there will be a complete Blogger track this year, including workshops, panels, meet and greets and some special surprises! We have to limit our blogger list this year to 10-12, (because we want to ensure they receive the best ARC's and goodies available.) Blogger Hopefuls will be screened (blog checked out) and notified if they made the top 10. This is not us vetting one person over another, its simply first come first serve.

YES: there WILL be a charity basket room this year. Authors are encouraged to donate baskets and books, to help us raise money for some most deserving charities! If your an author (or publisher) looking to donate, PLEASE contact me ASAP so I can get your name on the website.

Panels will run like normal, 50 minute events, and a full list will be up soon on what we plan to offer this year! AAD 2010 had some of the best attended panels I have seen all year (And I did 20 cons this year!) So I'm hoping to duplicate that for 2011!

And last but not least... The BOOKIE AWARDS! Yes, I know a lot of you are excited about this event, and the possiblity of winning a READER NOMINATED award, the ONLY READER NOMINATED awards in Romance Fandom! I know Im excited, and Im flattered we were even nominated for anything. Im in some of the best company I could ever hope for, and I know that whoever wins this inaugural year, will be tickled beyond Tickled! Voting begins November 20th ON THE WEBSITE on the Bookie Awards Page. We will have a running list of presenters going up as they come forward and agree to it. Ooh so whats the Bookie awards? What does all women love? No, not chocolate (well maybe, lol)... Jewelry! Yes this year's Bookies will have Jewelry for the award, a wonderful certificate, and that chocolate could be in the mix too...

Excited? I know I am... So... Stay tuned! It all starts happening in a few days!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bookie Awards Nominations!

Hello all!

I'mhome from my week in SC and low and behold, I actually WORKED while I was there, Surprise Surprise! So as Convention Director for the AAD event, Im happy to present to you all the nominations for 41 of the 45 categories for the first annual bookie awards! Now the Bookies from this moment onwards will be handled by our Bookie Awards staff, both are readers and attendees and have agreed to give their time to make this a fair and impartial ballot.

This year, because of lack of nominations, we have omitted 4 categories. That could change in the future. Also, Any partial nominations (title without an author) were not counted. Voting begins in November, so shall we... get to the good part? Ok then...

Anthology of the Year:
Haunted by Your Touch by: Jeaniene Frost, Shayla Black, and Sharie Kohler
Nocturnal - Jacquelyn Frank, Kate Douglas, Jess Haines, Claire Willis
Four Play by Maya Banks and Shayla Black
Nauti & WIld - Lora Leigh & Jaci Burton
Wasteland Series by bradley, Alexander,Fiesty and Jordan
Laced with Desire, Jaci Burton, Jasmine Haynes, Joey W. Hill, and Denise Rossetti
Burning Up by Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, and Meljean Brook

Author of the Year:
Kresley Cole
Joey W. Hill
Bridget Midway
Andrea Creamer
Jacquelyn Frank
Shelly Laurenston
Larissa Ione
Jeaniene Frost

Author website of the year:
Joey Hill
Julie Garwood
Bianca D'arc
Jane Porter
Maya Banks
Sherilyn Kenyon

BDSM short story:
Trusting St. Nick by Yvette Hines
Honor Bound, Joey W. Hill
Handcuffs and Headlocks by Kim Dare

Biggest Friend to Romance:
Joy Harris
Courtney Milan
Sarah Wendell
Stella Price
Susan Grimshaw

Best Shifter short story:
Vampire in the basement, Susan Hanniford Crowley
The Wolf Within by Mandy Monroe
Flirt, Laurell K. Hamilton
A gift of Daybreak, Stella and Audra Price

Blog of the Year:
Larissa's Life
Smexy Books
bibliophilic book blog
Smart Bitches Trashy Books
Story Witch (joey W Hill)
JoJos Bookcorner
Novel Thoughts
Wicked Lil Pixie

Contemporary short story:
A Damsel Without A Dress by Rita Sawyer
Unstoppable - Laura Griffin
Stupendously Blind by Tonya Ramagos

Cross Genre Novel:
Warrior, Zoe Archer
Dead in the Family by: Charlaine Harris
Tempting the Fire by Sydney Croft
Sacrifce by Dakota Banks
Slave To Pleasure, Eliza Gayle
Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker - Leanna Renee Hieber
The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare

Debut Author:
Kelly Creagh
Jack Greene
Erica HAYES
Jess Haines
Lydia Dare
Gini Koch
Sonya Bateman

Demon Novel:
Demon from the Dark, Kresley Cole
Sin Undone by Larissa Ione
Fearless Love by Stacey Espino
Original Sin - Allison Brennan
Ectasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione
Devil's Playground by Jenna Black

Demon short story:
The Darkest Angel Gina Showalter
Crystal Dreams - Kate Douglas
Demon Scorned by S.K. Yule

Ebook only Novel:
Nisey's Awakening by Dakota Trace
Table for three/Lainy reese,
Slave To Pleasure, Eliza Gayle
Beyond Eden by Kele Moon
Conquering India - Melissa Schroeder
Where the Rain is Made, by Keta Diablo
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

E Book only short story:
A Slave to Her Passions by: Jessica Coulter Smith
One wicked night/ heather boyd
Taken by Tarot, Eliza Gayle
Shaken by Dee Tenorio,

Erotic Romance Novel:

Rampant by: Saskia Walker
Branded Sanctuary by Joey W. Hill
Vampire Trinity, Joey W Hill
Dane by Elizabeth Amber
Casual Fridays by Bridget Midway
The Bid - Jax
Starlight Rite by Cherise Sinclair
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas
Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast

Erotic short story:
Making the Man by Yvette Hines
One wicked night/Heather Boyd
Aloha Kaua by Jenna Byrnes

Erotica Novel:
Rampant by: Saskia Walker
Branded Sanctuary by Joey W. Hill
Vampire Trinity, Joey W Hill
A Table for three / lainy reese
Double Punch - Tilly Greene
Naked by Megan Hart

Fantasy Novel:
Shalador's Lady by: Anne Bishop
Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Last Dragon Standing G.A. Aiken
Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
Catch of a Lifetime - Judi Fennell
The Barbarian Prince by Michelle M Pillow
Enemy Lover, Karin Harlow
Double Cross by Carolyn Crane
Wicked Enchantment Anya Bast

Fantasy short story:
Here There Be Monsters, Meljean Brook
Poseidon's Catch, Susan Hanniford Crowley
Bilss, Cat Johnson
Cyras Cyclopses Tilly greene,
Seriana Found by Marie Harte

Historical Romance Novel:
Blameless, Gail carriger
Sinful- Charlotte Featherstone
Much Ado About Marriage by Karen Hawkins
Captive Sin/ anna campbell
The Firebrand - Susan Wiggs
A Hellion in Her Bed by Sabrina Jeffries
Forbidden Highlander, Donna Grant

Lifetime Achievement Award:
L.A. Banks
Diana Gabaldon
Laurell K. Hamilton
Christine Feehan
Lora Leigh
KM Moning
Sherrilyn Kenyon

GLBT: M/M Novel:

Vampire Trinity, Joey W. Hill
And Call Me In The Morning Willa Okati
Devlin and Garrick by Cameron Dane
State of Mind, by Libby Drew
Fair Game by Josh Lanyon

MC/IR Novel:
Corporate Needs by Bridget Midway
Dog Sled Selena Illyria
Sensual Confessions (Madaris Family) - Brenda Jackson
The Better to Eat You With by Lena Matthews

Most Accessible Author:
Joey W. Hill
Gini Koch
Bridget Midway
Nicole Peeler
Christina Dodd
Jacquelyn Frank
Stella and Audra Price
Nikki Duncan
Caridad Pineiro
Larissa Ione

Online Community of the year:
Joey Hill Fan Forum
Interracial Multicultural Romance Readers
Romance Divas
All About Romance
Midnight Breeds Forum

Paranormal Menage:
Vampire Mistress, Joey W. Hill
Vampire Trinity by Joey W. Hill
Fearless Desire by Stacey Espino
Embraced By Passion Diana DeRicci
Perfection by Kris Cook
Moonlight Menage, Stephanie Julian
Whirlpool by Vivian Arend

Paranormal short Story:
Flirt, Laurell K. Hamilton
The Phoenix Project - Jacquelyn Frank
A Demon's Kiss by Sable Grey
You Burn Me, by Stella and Audra Price

Publisher of the year:
Pocket
Phaze Books
Harper Collins
Ellora's Cave Publishing
Purple Sword Publishing
Tease Publishing LLC
Penguin Group
Kensington
Samhain Publishing

Reader voted star of tomorrow:
Stella and Audra Price
Yvette Hines
Leanna Renee Hieber
Leah Brooke
Lara Adrian
Gini Koch
Anya Bast

Romantic Suspense Novel:

Healer's Choice, Jory Strong
Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden
After Dark - Beverly Barton
The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks
StormWalker, by Allyson James
Bring On The Night by Jeri Smith-Ready
Skin Tight by Ava Gray

Scifi Novel:
Touched By An Alien by: Gini Koch
Cryoburn, Lois McMaster Bujold
Runner's Moon: Challah Linda Mooney
Alien Revealed by Lilly Cain
Skin Tight by Ava Gray

Series:
IAD, Kresley Cole
Sweet Series by: Maya Banks
Vampire Queen Series by Joey W. Hill
Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh
Dreamlight Trilogy - Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/ Amanda Quick
Black Dagger Brotherhood, by J.R. Ward
Demonica Series by Larissa Ione

Shifter Non Wolf Novel:
Entwined by Fate- S.A Price
Eat, Prey, Love by: Kerrelyn Sparks
No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Healer's Choice by Jory Strong
Naked Dragon by Annette Blair
Bear Necessities Dana Marie Bell
Wildfire - Christine Feehan
Twin Spirits by Mary Winter
Beast Behaving Badly - Shelly Laurenston
Eternal Hunter, by Cynthia Eden
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Love in the Time of Dragons by Katie MacAlister

Single Author anthology:
Bedtime Stories by: Jean Johnson
Tales of the Otherworld Kelley Armstrong
Tempted - Lori Foster
Men Times Three - Bonnie Edwards

Steampunk Novel:
The Iron Duke - Meljean Brook
Steamed by: Katie MacAlister
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Dreadnought, Cherie Priest

Steampunk Short story:
Love in a Time of Steam, Elizabeth Darvill
Here There Be Monsters, Meljean Brook

Vampire Novel:
Taken by Midnight by Lara Adrian
Her Vampire Husband - Michele Hauf
I'll be slaying you, by cynthia eden,
Lover Mine by JR Ward
Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow
His Redeemer's Kiss Diana Castilleja
Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield
Vampire Trinity, Joey W Hill

Vampire Short story:
Flirt, Laurell K. Hamilton
Vampire in the Basement by Susan Hanniford Crowley
Forever Mine by Jude Mason

Werewolf Novel:
Sin Undone by Larissa Ione
A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare
Pleasure of a Dark Prince, Kresley Cole
Styx's Storm - Lora Leigh
Alpha Awakening by Diana DeRicci
Wolf Signs - Vivian Arend
Dark Succession, by Teresa D'Amario
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Moon Sworn, Particia Briggs

Western Romance Novel:
Unridden, Cat Johnson
I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown
Early Dawn - Catherine Anderson
Corralled by Lorelei James

Western Romance short story:
Christmas in Red Willow - Cheryl St. John
Discovering Daisy by Lacey Thorn


Congrats to ALL the nominees and thank you to all the nominators! Voting will commence in November, so watch for the polls to be open! Thanks again to the Bookie Awards Staff, and to all the awesome Bloggers and readers that took the time to nominate for our first year!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Giving Away My AAD Bag!

This September, I had the honor of attending Authors After Dark as a featured author and panelist, and I had a great time. I enjoyed meeting people with whom I'd previously communicated online, and it's always a pleasure hooking up with Bridget Midway, Yvette Hines, and Denise Jeffries. We were the Golden Girls of Erotica and hosted an 80s cheesecake bash. Not sure what's on tap for next year, but I'm in.

For October, I'm planning two different giveaways, so read the whole post!

This year, I brought home from AAD a bulging goody bag of books, promo, and all sorts of neat stuff, and I'm giving it away to one lucky reader. Here are the titles you'll get:

Wild Blue Under - Judi Fennell
Queene of Light - Jennifer Armintrout
Dark Days & Wicked Nights - sampler of excerpts from Allyson James, Devyn Quinn, Meljean Book and others
The Tease Dark Tarot: Death - Dorlana Vann
Tigers and Devils - Sean Kennedy (M/M)
The Beast Within  - Erin McCarthy, Bianca D'Arc, and Jennifer Lyon
plus two freebies by me: a print version of Dareville After Dark and a proof of She Loves Me, my F/F collection.

To enter for the above giveaway, simply click on http://bit.ly/LeighsAADBag and fill out the form. US winner gets the bag, International winner gets free downloads from DLP Books.

Deadline to enter is October 15 th, midnight EST.

My second giveaway will tie in with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My mom is doing the walk for the third year in a row, and as I can't take the time off to do it I will use my Facebook Page as a month-long tribute to the great women we have lost to this disease. Every day will feature a different woman and hopefully create awareness that self-detection and early detection is the key.

For this giveaway, I'll send one US winner a gift from the Republic of Tea (a Sip for the Cure selection) and a print book from my backlist, reader's choice. One International winner gets a $15 gift certificate to Phaze Books. To enter this giveaway, you only have to like my Facebook page! Deadline to enter the second giveaway is October 30, midnight EST.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stella's AAD Recount.

Authors After Dark is now over for 2010. What a wild freaking ride. For those who don’t know, I’m the Convention Director, and the one who gets the ulcers for a year before the event. Don’t get me wrong, I love this event, and I love doing it, and what it represents.


I might bitch about the craziness while there, and I might lose it a bit, but on the whole, I live for this kinda thing. So lets get to my recount, shall we?


Thursday was an insane. We got up early, packed the uhaul and made our way down to the event hotel. When we got there, we started to unpack and get it all set up. WOW. 5 hours after we got there we still weren’t done, but the excitement was setting in for me. I was very happy to finally be there and getting it all out to everyone. I don’t think people realize that after a years worth of planning, of storing stuff in your house, its like Christmas to get it all set up and know that SO MANY people are getting SO MANY goodies. I love playing Santa. (no not Satan, though I probably channeled the evil that weekend...)


Anyway, suffice to say that Friday and Saturday went really well. The bloggers got a fuck ton of extra books, each meal went off well, tons of books and goodies and everyone was really happy with the food and the choices (that chocolate cake was DIVINE!).



Parties were fun as well. Tons of goodies and alcohol, and OMG it was great to see the authors that attended last year and welcome the ones that came for their first year. Having friends there, people I get to see only a few times a year, is worth all the aggravation and insanity. As a self imposed hermit, it’s nice to interact with others that I have something in common with. Writing is a solitary existence, and when we, as authors get to hangout with other authors and readers, it makes it all worth it.



I realize this account is sorta generalized, but that’s because most of the weekend was a blur. Anyone that was there will tell you I didn’t sit down for more then 5 minutes at a stretch, missed all but one of my panels and only made one of my appointments. I worked my ass off to make it perfect, and I think I was close to succeeding.



Sadly, we had some issues, some of them are things that could be avoided for next year, and some of them have to be addressed here.


We had a crasher. Normally I would be so excited that we had a crasher to the event, but this was totally uncool. AAD, in essence is an event that works for the reader. We make it more then affordable, because we believe in the reader/ author relationship. So many cons make money off their events, we don’t make one dime other then for the charities. Because of this, extra things are absorbed by Jacki and the staff, at our own expense.


So with a crasher coming in and having dinner, and taking books, books and a meal they didn’t pay for, hurts not only the con but the attendees. The crasher came in, disrespected the event, the event staff and hosts and more importantly, the attendees because they ate on their dime. A crasher didn’t feel the need to pay for this, but had the brass balls to come in, and apparently felt that they were above everyone else that DID follow the rules. That chaps my ass. That shows a blatant disrespect for their fellow readers and the people that worked so hard to make the event so worthwhile.


Unfortunately, since someone thought it was acceptable to take advantage...we have to tighten up and hire security to be sure the right people are getting what they paid for.



Second, Hotel issues. PLEASE DON’T WORRY! Next year’s event will be at a different hotel, one that actually isn’t a bunch of ass hats that were trying to thwart us behind the scenes. I’m sorry to all the attendees that had issues with the hotel (especially the ones that got charges on their room when they shouldn’t have, I hope that worked out) and I’m really sorry about the issues with the schedule. Because the hotel didn’t bother to mention us losing a room till I got there Thursday morning, I didn’t have time to make the changes seamless. I will do better next year, I promise.


Now what to expect for next year:

  • Two tattoo artists… ooh did we mention there was a tattoo artist this year? Yes there was and Geoff was awesome. Next year, expect him with a friend to rock the event with ink galore!
  • A Mythos Masquerade
  • A Steampunk Ball
  • A fantastic BDSM event (information to come!)
  • A Karaoke party with Jen Armintrout and Resplendence Publishing
  • Amazing Vendors

And much more! Stay tuned to the AAD blog for all the happenings and a NEW layout for next year!



Thanks again to all the authors and attendees for making this year something to remember. We couldn’t have done it without you guys. I’m looking forward to many more years of this con, and goodies galore!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Green with Envy

Ah, I have to admit that I have been stewing in jealousy with the thought of all the fun being had at AAD 2010 and wishing I could be there. Still, I hope everyone had a fabulous time and that you're planning to attend next year!!!!

I have been trying to keep my nose to the grindstone and working away at my next Guardian anthology as well as enjoying the release of Yours for Eternity that hit the stores this month!! I'm also preparing for the release of Devoured by Darkness that will be on the shelves Nov. 30th. I hope to have several contests coming up for ARCs so if you're interested, I hope you'll join my new facebook page: www.facebook.com/#!/alexandraivyfanpage?ref=ts

Until next time, happy reading!!
Alex

Home from AAD!

What a wild weekend! I know you guys are going to get blogs from pretty much everyone that came, and hopefully there will be a nice buzz about. I myself will have pictures up and running here soon enough, and I know you guys are going to love it.

Im going to maintain radio silence for the next week though, get some things sorted, and work on my career, which i have been sorely neglecting. It will be worth it though, and I know you guys will enjoy the posts I have coming up.

Also, this blog is going to have a face lift in the next month to match the new design for the website for AAD2011! You are REALLY going to LOVE this! I'm excited about this and the already underway planning of next years event!


Stella

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two New Releases!

I have two new books out this month... First, a novel of the dragonish kind from Samhain Publishing, which means it's hot, hot, HOT! Here's the blurb:

Their love will span the ages…and two very different worlds.


Caught in a magical storm and deposited on modern-day Earth, twin dragon princes Darius and Connor are looking for a way home. Instead they find something most unexpected—-their mate. The one woman who holds both their hearts in the palm of her healing hand-—along with secrets about her origins that link their shared destinies.


When Josie patches up the injured man on her doorstep, her snowcat instincts tell her he’s much more than a man. And so is his brother. She also knows her dragon lovers cannot fly free on Earth. The only way to return them to their rightful place is to face the failures of her past, and leave the safety of her Oregon cabin to seek her estranged grandfather’s counsel. There she learns the painful truth: returning Darius and Connor to where they belong could mean giving up everything. Even her only chance for true love.


But fate has other plans for the trio. Magic swirls all around them. Whether it is for good or ill, only time will tell...


Warning: This book contains red hot twin action ménage a trois, a wild cat woman and two hunky dragon studs in black leather.


The second new release is an anthology featuring a new zombie novella by me and two other paranormal tales - one by Erin McCarthy and one by Jennifer Lyon - just in time for the spooky time of year! Here's a little bit about it:

Meet three men without boundaries, hell-bent on satisfying their deepest desires - and those of the women who drive them wild...


The Howling by Erin McCarthy


When Liv Lugaru's boyfriend Sebastian disappears, she finds comfort in his brother's arms. But Sebastian is much closer than Liv realizes... and he'll stop at nothing to protect her from the feral danger that comes alive only when she sleeps...


Smoke On The Water by Bianca D'Arc


In the misty fog of a lakefront village, zombies are roaming wild - and zombie hunter John Petit must stop the carnage. John is also fighting a different kind of battle: a forbidden passion for his new partner, Donna. With her help, killing zombies is a walk in the park, but keeping his desire in check is making him sweat...


Redeeming The Wizard by Jennifer Lyon


Gage Remington was once a powerful wizard; now he's a recluse who keeps the world at bay. But when Mira Tate arrives at Gage's door, she stirs in him an attraction he can't deny. Soon, Gage will risk everything to keep Mira close - even the secret that may be his ruin...


Both books are available now wherever books are sold!

Monday, September 13, 2010

NEW RELEASE!

Just popping in guys to announce that we have a new book out! Book two of our American Satyrs series, To Collar and Keep has been released this morning, and I know you guys are all interested!

A surrender to the unknown has never been sexier.

Olanis, the summer holiday is upon the Satyr clans once more and it is the time for Harlequin, prince of the Rummer clan, to claim his first and only female, the Grecian Satyr princess Arabella, sight unseen.

Unsure of what kind of woman his clan had brokered for him, he is both interested in the woman that would wear his collar, and nervous that she won’t meet his standards. His female has to rival him in all things, and his hopes of that coming true are slim and none.

Arabella craves two things, finishing her education, and being claimed by her Satyr. An anomaly in the Satyr world, Arabella was afforded opportunities other princesses weren’t. Now, in a foreign land she is given over to the Prince she was promised to, and she couldn’t be more nervous. What's a girl to do when you’re being gifted to a man you have never seen?

Harley is a commodity to the Rummer clan, one that his father plans to exploit regardless of his son’s wishes. When he gives Harley an ultimatum, Harley and Bella have two choices-agree to the terms or rebel.

When sparks fly and new alliances are forged in the Satyr ranks, both Harley and Bella have to decide what it is they want and what kind of future they wish to have. Only together will they succeed, if they can suffer the slings and arrows.


Reader Advisory: This book contains a Satyr prince with unconventional ideas about his princess, a princess with a mind to rival Hawkings, a feral Satyr with a hidden agenda, F/F scenes, polyamory and lots of hot sex.

And thats more, We are running a contest! Check out BLOGGY for details! See you all on Friday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's comiiiing!! And IT'S HERE!! And IT'S NEW!!



Authors After Dark 2010 is only ten days away!! WOOT!!! Can you believe it? I am so excited! And on top of that, NOCTURNAL released today...officially anyway. i know many of you already have it. I have been getting great feedback about my story in it, The Phoenix Project. Everyone wants me to make a series out of it! I kinda thought I had enough series going all at once. Do you all find it confusing when an author has a lot of series out all at once? Frankly, I can follow just fine as a reader and find it very easy to separate. As a writer I think the voices and the material are distinctive enough that it shouldn't be too difficult. The only two series I have that scrape very close to each other are the Nightwalkers and the Shadowdwellers, however they are also very distinctive of each other.

On top of everything else happening today, Ballentine just snuck me the new cover for book two in my Three Worlds series!! Now, keep in mind it might change a little bit yet, but I wanted to give you all an exclusive sneak peek! I can't help myself because I think this cover is super HOT.


Isn't that an awesome cover? Now I just have to finish the story...;) This is the first time that's ever happened to me...that they have the cover ready before the story is finished. It's a little surreal actually. But not to worry, I'll make that deadline come hell or high water.

My costume for the AAD masque completely rocks! I am really thrilled with how it came together. Next year we are having a Steampunk party on Friday night and a Mythology Masque on Saturday night! That is going to be SO MUCH FUN! I'm going to have to come up with two costumes. Better start planning now. Meanwhile, I have to get back to the drawing board. My hero and heroine are in danger and he just got caught revealing a secret...

;)
Hugs and Kitties
Jacki

First Served, First C... Well, You Get the Idea

Just a few weeks to go before AAD and I'm excited to be a part of the event this year! I've been trading e-mails with authors Bridget Midway, Yvette Hines, and Denise Jeffries, and we are finalizing plans for our Saturday Golden Girls of Erotica party. It's totally 80s with cheesecake and prizes, so we hope to see you there! I'm happy, too, that Bridget has helped with our raffle basket for the AAD event by supplying some 80s DVDs - seems every time I thought of a movie to include it was filmed in 1990. So apparently my 80s memories came a bit late. :o

Anyway, I'll bring two more baskets for the auction event - one for me and one for Phaze Books. All sorts of goodies to collect, from books to sweet things, so have your tickets ready and good luck.

When you come to the big signing event, too, be sure to stop by my table. I have 20 copies of Dareville After Dark, the guide to my Dareville stories, in paperback, and I'm giving them away! First 20 folks to stop by get a signed copy, no purchase necessary (though I do hope you'll consider buying some of my other books while you're there!). If you're new to my Dareville series, this is a great little guide to have - can't tell the players without a program!

See you soon!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sin Undone!


Hi everyone!

I've been a very bad blogger -- I missed the last couple of months due to a family emergency. Now I have a broken arm, so I need to keep this kind of short, since it takes forever to type a single sentence. Ugh.

But I did want to say that I'm excited -- Sin Undone has released! Unfortunately, the release date overseas is Oct. 1, but in the U.S. and Canada, everyone should have it by tomorrow. This is also the first book of mine to release in audio format. How cool! I'm dying to get a copy just to see how it turned out. :)

So anyway, hope everyone is doing well. Are you getting ready for AAD? I wish I could go, but I couldn't swing it this year. Maybe next...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book signing and the Masquerade Ball!

Cant attend the event? Still wanna meet the authors? Come to the book signing, its open to the public from 2-4pm on Saturday. If your in the area, why not come down and hangout? And guess what? If your interested in coming to the Masquerade ball, YOU CAN! thats right, we have the saturday night event open... for the ticket price of 25$ you can come to the event, just like a night at the club (the goth/ 80's club LOL) and come in costume and you could win a Fabulous prize!