Tag Archives: Maggie Mae Gallagher

An Oscar Winner in the Family

Barbara Vey -- February 28th, 2014

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Maggie Mae Gallagher, is the author of Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles, a dark, urban fantasy series.  A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie is a also an Event Manager for RomCon , and CEO of Gallagher Author Services.  She’s also related to an Academy Award winner.  This is her story.

This weekend will be the eighty-sixth Academy Awards. While most of the population considers it nothing more than a bunch of Hollywood Pomp and Circumstance, it is a quite a bit more significant for me. You see, last year my baby brother, Robert Huth, won an Oscar or at least, he worked as one of the animators on the film, Disney’s Paperman, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. This year, his latest film, a little movie by Disney you might have heard of, Frozen, has garnered two Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. What is it like having a little brother who has worked on a film that has won an Oscar and might win more?

My brother, Robert, holding the Oscar and the director of Paperman

My brother, Robert, holding the Oscar, and the director of Paperman

Besides being utterly amazing, it means he has also set the bar for success in my family pretty high. Creativity certainly runs in the family as I am releasing my debut novel Anointed today!

I think in many ways having my little brother do what he does, has inspired me to work tirelessly on my dreams of writing and being an author. His path to working at Disney wasn’t necessarily an easy one nor did he start out at Disney. Prior to Disney, he worked at Blue Sky Studios in Connecticut, and worked on films like Rio and Ice Age 3. In 2011, Disney knocked on his door, and it was the type of opportunity he could not pass up.

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I asked him once, “What is it like, once you get your dream?” And his response was one that pushed me to change my approach in working toward my goal and aspirations, he said, “Well, Mag, it is still a job.”FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.indd

The journey for Frozen, from being a mere story on the page into the wonder they created: both musically and visually is an iconic film in the making. I tear up a bit, in a very proud, big sisterly, type of way when I think about my brother being a part of it.

The moral of this story is: Live your dream. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. The chances you take may be big and scary, but in the end, life is too short to do anything that doesn’t make you happy, inspire your passion and make you to want to reach beyond yourself. You might even one day end up with a golden statuette or book with your name on it.

Bottom Line:  As for this weekend, “Go team Frozen!”

Watch the Academy Award winning Paperman here.  Very romantic!!

Naughty & Nice

Barbara Vey -- December 13th, 2013

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Last year I was lucky enough to attend this event, but this year we have Cub Reporter Maggie Mae Gallagher on the scene.  Maggie Mae graduated from the University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in music. Continuing her education, Maggie received a master’s degree in history from the University of Missouri, St. Louis but writing has always been a passion. As a teenager she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. Maggie Mae adores exotic worlds of mythic beings, folklore and fairy tales. She currently resides in St. Louis with her two furry felines, Guinness & Isabella and her debut novel, Annointed, will be available February 2014.

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Indie bookstore Rose’s Bookhouse in Saint Peters, Missouri held its annual Naughty and Nice Booksigning Event this past Saturday, December 7th. The event has been dubbed a “Girls Night Out” and boy was it ever. Readers mingled with some of their favorite Erotic and Romance Authors, sipping wine and nibbling on fabulous appetizers from their sponsor Stefanini’s.

Reader Gena Cardinale said she, “loved the rosesintimacy and variety of authors, that getting
a chance to hear all the different stories the authors had made it a truly unique experience.” For the small price of the admission ticket, readers had the chance to win baskets of prizes, loaded up on signed books from their favorite author and helped out a good cause. One of the raffles even had a Kobo Tablet up for grabs. The proceeds from all the raffles were donated to Books For Soldiers.

roseWhen you glanced around the Elk’s Lodge, what you found were women, enjoying the
evening with their best gal pals, and talking about books. Rose’s Bookhouse has long been a champion of the romance genre and this event, while on the more risqué aisle of romance, truly displayed the passion and zeal Rose’s has for the genre. USA Today Bestselling Author, Jade Lee commented, “While it was fun having a naughty cake, what was supremely awesome about this event was the opportunity to talk books and romance with readers.”

For Readers who love romance, the Naughty and Nice Event hosted by Rose’s
Bookhouse should be on your must list of events to attend. Plans are already underway for next year’s event, so mark your calendars for the first Saturday in December.

Bottom Line: The best event to pick up a little something for yourself at Christmas.

What the Author Recommends…

Barbara Vey -- September 26th, 2013

authorsrecommendingbooks

I just got my ticket for the Southern Magic Reader Luncheon.  This was one of the luncheons that made me want to start my own.  What makes it special is the southern charm that is served with the meal.  I’ll be a “Special Guest” along with award winning audio book narrator, Tavia Gilbert.  The wonderful Jeaniene Frost will be keynote and welcome speaker is Ella Grace/Christy Reece (a twofer).  It’s November 1st, so hurry and register.  But in the meantime, here’s what some authors enjoy reading.

 

r is for rocketmixing it upAndrew Peterson recommends R IS FOR ROCKET by Ray Bradbury.

Maggie Shayne loves MIXING UP A MEMORY by Jena O’Connor, because it’s about the five Haggerty sisters, who are inspired by my own five daughters, and because it’s my firstborn’s fiction debut. But I also love it because it’s a warm, charming, upbeat, family story, the first of the Sprinkle of Faith series.

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-7-5Desiree Holt recommends the entire McCarthys of Gansett Island series by Marie Force. Love stories just the way you want them and so well written.

Kate Hewitt recommends The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This is such a compelling and thought-provoking read, with very real and heart wrenching relationships. I read it practically in one sitting!

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sign off-4Mary Buckham loves Patricia McLinn’s Sign Off. The debut of a new mystery series with finely developed characters, whip-sharp dialogue, and setting that makes you want to step into the page, put this on my keeper shelf.
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Danielle Monsch highly recommends Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale. This is not an easy read. It demands you engage both your mind and your emotions and will leave you wrecked and drained by the time the HEA occurs, but it is by far the most satisfying and rewarding romance, one that will stay with you over 20(!) years since the first time you read it, and one you will read multiple times as it finds a home on your keeper shelf.

Eye of the Needle.
Just a miracleLaurie Gifford Adams recommends Just a Miracle by Zita Christian. Zita does an excellent job of building a world where you care about the characters and what happens to them because they are real and their conflicts are accessible. Her command of the time period brings the story to life in an authentic way.

DV Berkom recommends Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Ken Follett’s book about a German spy in WWII and the woman who has to stop him began my journey in the thriller genre and I never looked back. It’s masterful storytelling and was one of the first books I’d read with a heroic (but realistic) female protagonist. Talk about hooking me instantly.

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-2Maggie Mae Gallagher recommends Across A Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham. This is one of my all-time favorite books. Thanks to Ms. Canham I know what it feels like to stand aboard a privateer vessel and sail the Atlantic.

Katharine Ashe recommends THE CHOCOLATE KISS by Laura Florand, a deliciously magical contemporary romance set in Paris with wonderful characters and a sparkling, sexy story. It left my mouth watering and my heart completely satisfied.
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Bottom Line:  I read Eye of the Needle when it first came out in 1978 and it’s still one of my favorites that I reread.

Do You Need an Author Assistant?

Barbara Vey -- September 20th, 2013
Author Assistant

Author Assistant

 

In today’s ever changing world of publishing, authors can’t just sit back and write their books.  They have become marketers, branders, spokespeople, social media experts, publicists, promoters, web designers and sometimes even publishers.  Sounds like a serious Type A personality.  But does it have to be all or nothing for authors?  I sat down with three author assistants who’s job it is is to assist the authors in anyway they can so the author can concentrate on writing their books.

Kim Castillo is a virtual assistant who spends her days trying to give her bestselling clients more time in the day to spend writing and with their families. When she’s not at her computer working on fabulous marketing ideas she’s chasing down one of her three cats, two dogs or bird.

Kati Rodriguez is a virtual assistant by day and a recovering romance book addict and blogger by night. When not assisting, blogging or reading, she spends time ogling the local firemen behind the safety of her aviators at Starbucks. A lover of the color pink, you can always spot her at conferences with a giant pink bag.

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Maggie Mae Gallagher is a virtual assistant, writer, Cub Reporter for Beyond Her Book, and Event Manager for RomCon. When she’s not assisting her authors, spending time writing, or being a social media wiz, she can be found wrangling her niece or attending the latest comic con/geek fest.

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Why did you become an author’s assistant?

Kim: I actually just kind of fell into it. Eloisa James was a friend and I wanted to help her out. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else. Its the most perfect job for me.

Kati:  To tell you the truth, I sort of fell into being an author’s assistant thanks to Vicky Dreiling. She had gotten a bit overwhelmed with writing and doing administrative/promotional things so she asked if I would help her out. Vicky was very instrumental in me becoming an author’s assistant. She told author friends about me and it sort of snowballed from there.

Maggie: My journey happened by chance and was not a path I had originally intended. Two years ago, I was at a breakfast with a bunch of authors and happened to be sitting next to Eileen Dreyer. During the course of our conversation, Eileen mentioned she had been looking for an assistant with little luck and if I knew anyone.  Fate nudged my hand forward and I tossed my hat into the ring. I built my business part-time for about ten months before I made the leap into being a virtual assistant full-time. I feel so blessed to have meet Eileen because looking back, it’s been such an incredible, exciting journey thus far. I love what I do

What makes you so valuable to authors? Value

Maggie:  The skills I acquired during my tenure as an Office Manager have been supremely useful. Granted I have modified those skill sets. The publishing industry requires an ability to adapt to the ever evolving business model at lightning speeds while maintaining strident attention to details, a fearlessness in approaching new opportunities, well developed networking skills, the ability to anticipate what my clients need by keeping my finger on the pulse of the industry, and organizational abilities that would make Sheldon Cooper proud. I apply all of this to my business in the hope of delivering the highest quality service.

Kim:  My flexibility, willingness to please and understanding of marketing and readers.

Kati:  Gosh! Do I have to answer this question? I feel like I’m tooting my own horn but here it goes…I think my ability to adapt and learn as the market changes makes me valuable to authors. Whether it’s social media, a new idea for promoting new releases or something an author sees that a fellow author is doing that seems to be working, I try my best to add it to my skill set.

Some of you work for more than one author.  Does it ever get confusing?confusing

Kim:  Surprisingly no.

Kati:  Sometimes it does get confusing but the calendar on my phone, computer and even an old fashioned monthly planner keeps me on track. I even have a large wall calendar above the desk to keep me on track. Sticky notes and color coding are my friends :)

Maggie:  Yes and it’s a constant juggling act but one that I love doing.  As an Office Manager, I had three to four hundred client files to stay on top of a daily basis so I understand how to balance my client’s needs while prioritizing duties. A typical day in the life of an assistant can have a range of jobs from shipping books at the post office to creating an ad design to website maintenance to…whatever else my authors need me to do.

Are you all aspiring writers?I Vant to Write

Kim:  Nope.

Kati:  I’ve been writing since I can remember so I guess you would say that I’m still an aspiring writer.

Maggie:  As a writer seeking publication, you couldn’t hope for a better internship. I have seen behind the curtain of what it truly takes, not only to be a successful writer, but what it takes to make a career out of writing.

Why do authors need assistants?WHY

Kati:  As an author, if you get to the point of dreading the following, you might look into getting an assistant:

  • Not getting your word count in for the day because you’re so busy doing non-writing stuff.
  • That inbox is looking really scary. (100+ emails, anyone?)
  • You hate standing in line for the post office to send out promo.
  • Updating your website. (Why are the links not working?)
  • New forms of social media keep popping up and it makes you want to cry because do you really need an account?

Those are just a few examples. I’m sure as an author, you can think of a whole lot more. If you ask around, you will be able to find an assistant within your budget. So even if you’re not a New York Times bestselling author, you can still get yourself an assistant.

Maggie:  For a number of reasons. First, in this day and age with the sheer scope that social media demands on an author, assistants help carve away some of time they would spend promoting on those outlets so they can accomplish more writing. Second, as another partner to help market, establish blog tours and find reviewers for releases. Third, someone to take care of those pesky little things like website updates, newsletter formatting, and the list of inglorious time sucks on an author’s time could go on and on. Assistants help defray those demands so an author can focus on the most important part of their job, the writing. Assistants are an author’s partner very much like their editor and agent.

Kim:  Because no one can run a business alone and once published, that’s exactly what an author is. They are a brand that needs time and cultivation. If an author tried to write, do all their own administration and have a family/life, they wouldn’t have much time for the family/life, in my opinion.

 What are some of your duties for the authors?duties

Maggie:  My daily tasks can range across the board. A typical day in the life entails conversing with the publicity department at a client’s publishing house, addressing my email inbox, designing an ad, updating clients calendars, packing book shipments for winners, updating websites, and that’s the first half of the day. I tend to tailor my tasks to what my client needs.

Kim:  Social media help, website updating, schedules, contests, graphics, events and pretty much anything else I’m asked to do.

Katie:  Duties include: checking emails, running contests, mailing promo/contest prizes, coordinating blog tours, updating websites/social media sites, designing graphics for ads, social media or promo items (bookmarks, buttons, postcards)

What advice would you give someone who wants to become an author assistant?free advice

Kim:  Being an author assistant sounds very cool and glamorous to readers (and it is!) but its also a job that takes a certain type of person. You have to be thick skinned and not take constructive criticism personal. Eloisa is an English professor and punctuation sometimes isn’t my strongest skill. I never take it personal when she corrects me, I appreciate it! While you may be brilliant most of the time, you won’t hit every task out of the park every time and you will make mistakes. It’s just part of the job, part of any job. Being an assistant is being the background. Our job is to always make our client look great, we’re there to make everything run as seamlessly as possible.

Kati:  Some advice I would give someone who wants to become an author assistant is: be willing to learn, be adaptable and have fun with it. If you are unsure of how to do something, google it. Google and youtube are my go-to sites for things I don’t know how to do. They’ve saved my butt a time or two. You can also ask a fellow VA if they know how.

Maggie:  Study the market. I was lucky in that I had been working as an aspiring author and a member of RWA so there were contacts I had already made within the industry which made my transition a whole lot easier. RWA has some of the best information on the business of writing.

Be willing to learn. This is not a nine to five type of job, you have to be willing and able to keep odd hours. And being an author’s assistant is like being on-call 24/7.  I love every minute of it and am thrilled by the authors I get to work with.

Thanks to Kim, Kati and Maggie for sharing their expertise with us today.  You can contact them here:  Kim Castillo, Kati Rodriguez, Maggie Mae Gallagher.

Bottom Line:  Is it time for you to get an assistant…I know I’m ready.

 

Authors Recommending Books

Barbara Vey -- August 29th, 2013

authorsrecommendingbooks

Today is the first day of what I hope will become a regular feature on Beyond Her Book.  Authors will be recommending other books.  They can be current reads or favorite past reads.  I also encourage you to leave your recommended reads in the comment section, so other readers can add to their TBR pile.

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firelightDarkfever

Elizabeth Hoyt recommends Firelight by Kristen Callihan (Historical Romance) “Callihan is an amazing new author! Her Victorian London is mysterious, weird, and exciting. Her heroine is kick-ass, her hero dreamy and forbidding at the same time, and the romance singes the pages. I simply can’t wait to read the rest of this series!”

Maggie Mae Gallagher recommends Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. (Urban Fantasy)

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Once Upon a TowerEileen Dreyer recommends Once Upon A Tower by Eloisa James. Eden's Sin(Historical Romance)

 

Barbara Bettis recommends Eden’s Sin by Jennifer Jakes.(Western Historical Romance)

 

 

 

Gnome on the RangeThe Lotus PalaceMichele Callahan recommends Gnome On The Range by Jennifer Zane. (Contemporary Romance)

 

Amanda Berry recommends The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin. (Historical Romance)

 

The winner of the Random House gift basket with Complete Me by J. Kenner from yesterday is Jennifer Yarbrough.  Please email sgrimshaw @randomhouse.com with your name and street address for your prize.  Congratulations!

Bottom Line:  Come back Friday to see the books the WW Ladies are recommending this week.

RWA: Free Book Signings

Barbara Vey -- August 1st, 2012

One of the most popular events at RWA is hands down the free book signings.  Publishers separately open the doors to readers and offer free books signed by the authors.  The lines are long, but it is so worth it.  You get up close and personal time with your favorite authors and a free book to boot.  Readers come prepared carrying boxes and pulling suitcases to load up with their treasures.  Here’s a few of the many authors who signed at these events.

Karen Rose

Karen Rose

 

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

 

Lori Handleland

Lori Handleland

 

Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta

 

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

Abigail Sharpe and Kathy Fawcett

 

Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth

 

Erin Knightley

Erin Knightley

 

 

Hope Ramsey

Hope Ramsey

 

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott

 

Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce

 

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Angie Fox

 

Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi

Mia Marlowe

Mia Marlowe

 

Shelli Stevens

Shelli Stevens

 

Theresa Meyers

Theresa Meyers

 

Tracey Devlyn

Tracey Devlyn

Victoria Alexander

Victoria Alexander

 

Yasmine Galenorn

Yasmine Galenorn

 

Bottom Line:  Getting a free book signed by the author is like Christmas morning.

Fantasy on the Bayou

Barbara Vey -- March 15th, 2012
Maggie Mae Gallagher and Maggie Shayne

Maggie Mae Gallagher and Maggie Shayne

Cub Reporter, Maggie Mae Gallagher, is the author of the Cantati Chronicles, a dark, first-person, urban fantasy series. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie is an Editor with 5 Prince Publishing , an Event Manager for RomCon , an Author, and a Personal Assistant for hire to an expanding list of authors. Maggie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Romance Writers, Colorado Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.

The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P) Chapter of Romance Writers of America  held its very first conference Fantasy on the Bayou in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2nd through March 4th. Getting a conference off the ground is difficult to do in the best of times but during these economic times practically impossible. The FF&P Chapter is an online special interest chapter whose mission is promoting excellence in romance, futuristic, fantasy, time travel and paranormal fiction. The committee’s first task was finding a home for the conference. They could not have picked a better locale. New Orleans, Louisiana, long associated with paranormal, vampire and ghost lore, was the perfect spot.

Agent Elaine Spencer & Author Kristen Painter

Agent Elaine Spencer & Author Kristen Painter

Everything with the conference seemed to be moving full steam ahead until barely a month before the conference, the committee received news that their original keynote speaker had to cancel her appearance. That didn’t stop the FF&P conference committee. They forged ahead and found a new keynote speaker, Maggie Shayne. With 54 published novels and 30 novellas to her credit, along with 15 RITA Award Nominations and 1 win, Maggie Shayne brought her publishing experience and love for the craft to the Bayou. I had the honor of speaking with Maggie about her decision in accepting the keynote role with minimal time to prepare. “Every year I write a letter to Santa. This year I wrote that I wanted to visit New Orleans, one of my favorite cities, and that I wanted to be a keynote speaker at a conference. So when the conference people called me, I couldn’t turn it down.” Maggie’s keynote speech was poignant, pulled at my heart-strings and made me believe in my dreams. There was not a dry eye in the room by the time she finished. I know that I am grateful she decided to be a part of the conference.

 

Agent Michelle Brower, Agent Paul Lucas, Author Staci McGlothlin & Agent Becca Stumpf.

Agent Michelle Brower, Agent Paul Lucas, Author Staci McGlothlin & Agent Becca Stumpf.

The focus of this conference was bringing authors together to discuss what we love, paranormal worlds and writing about them. When I spoke with Leanna Renee Hieber she said, “The highlight of this conference was being brought together with fellow FF&P lovers in one of my favorite cities in all the world. The FF&P community as a whole is just full of the most kind, talented, generous and fun people in this whole industry and I loved every minute of being with them.”

Authors Angie Fox & Amanda Berry

Authors Angie Fox & Amanda Berry

One of the things that made this conference so wonderful was the intimate setting. I had the opportunity, as did many conference attendees, to engage with Agents and Editors in a much more personal manner. Becca Stumpf, a Literary Agent with the Prospect Agency  said, “It’s been lovely spending the weekend with a group of people so passionate about genre fiction – from a romance perspective and beyond. I loved that no one at this conference batted an eye when talking about writing about all things weird and fantastic – it was refreshing, and made for a fun and open conference environment. It’s a great opportunity for romance writers to connect with other genre writers, and network with the agents and editors who work specifically in those areas.”

On the final morning of the conference there was a book signing that was open to the public and many were on hand signing their latest works. I know my suitcases were bursting at the seams from all the books I purchased. Aspiring author Devon Alexander attended the conference with her daughter. “It was a small conference but great. I really enjoyed meeting other authors. The FF&P Conference Committee choose the perfect venue to host the conference. I definitely plan on attending next year.”

From ghost tours to the keynote address, this conference held something magical for every person who attended.  I plan on making the Fantasy on the Bayou Conference one of my annual conference events.

Maggie has even offered a giveaway to one lucky commenter, a copy of Nora Roberts Vision in White Book One of the Bride Quartet on Audio CD and Michelle Lang’s Dark Victory.

Bottom Line:  How did I miss this?  I love New Orleans (checking my calendar for next year).

Naughty And Nice

Barbara Vey -- December 7th, 2011

Today’s Cub Reporter, Maggie Mae Gallagher, is the author of the Cantati Chronicles, a dark, urban fantasy series. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie runs an office, clerks at a local metaphysical store, writes, and is a personal assistant for hire to an expanding list of authors. Maggie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Romance Writers, Colorado Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.

 

Owner, Wendy Drew, Charles Hackmann, Hot Damn Designs model & Holli Kirk manager of Spankys.

Owner, Wendy Drew, Charles Hackmann, Hot Damn Designs model & Holli Kirk manager of Spankys.

Rose’s Bookhouse in O’Fallon, Missouri outdid themselves.  Owner, Wendy Drew, billed the December 3rd, 2011, Naughty and Nice Booksigning as a Girls Night Out adult themed event. Erotic Romance authors Shayla Black, Kim Killion, Beth Kery aka Bethany Kane, and Annmarie McKenna were each on hand autographing their latest novels. Mahlet Richardson, from Cincinatti, Ohio, and her best friend from Lexington, Kentucky, drove in for the sold-out, ticketed event. They made the trip for the opportunity to meet one of their favorite authors, Beth Kery aka Bethany Kane, and hope to be back next year.

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Authors Shayla Black and Shawntelle Madision

Authors Shayla Black and Shawntelle Madision

Upon arriving, each guest was presented with a goody bag filled with naughty treats from Spankys in Bridgeton, Missouri, one of the big sponsors of the evening. Spankys manager Holli Kirk was on hand explaining some of the fabulous prizes fans found in their bags. One of the best things about the goody bag was the raffle ticket inside and a chance to win one of four baskets donated by Spankys. With every book purchased, attendees were presented with an additional raffle ticket and chance at winning one of the coveted baskets. In addition to the Nice, Naughty, Naughtier, and Naughtiest baskets up for grabs, there were door prizes given away stuffed with prizes from Spankys and Stefanina’s Pizzeria. Gina from O’Fallon, Missouri, said, “I’ve had so much fun at the Naughty and Nice Booksigning because it’s bunch of people that like the same things I do, where we can get crazy, get a little dirty, have some great food and wine, and get some great books to take home.”

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reader Cheri Remington meeting the authors

reader Cheri Remington meeting the authors

 

Authors and readers enjoyed mouth-watering eats catered by Stefanina’s Pizzeria, the night’s second sponsor. Readers crammed aisles, laughter and the buzz of women’s excited chatter mingled over a shared love of reading romances. Rose’s Bookhouse carries something for every Romance reader from Erotic to Paranormal, Regencies to Contemporary. It’s a fabulous destination for readers where they can find a little bit of everything. With my towering stack of autographed books, I had to restrain myself from delving into the fantasy section and grabbing the latest George R.R. Martin Game of Thrones novel.

 

Fan Mahlet Richardson from Ohio with Cardboard John

Fan Mahlet Richardson from Ohio with Cardboard John

Hot Damn Designs, also a sponsor, brought a life-sized cutout of one of their gorgeous, spectacularly muscled, dream models.  Reader’s purchased pictures of themselves taken with the scrumptious cardboard John. Most of the proceeds from the picture sales were donated to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance’s Hope for the Holidays charity book drive.  The money collected will then be used to purchase new and used books for the residents at the Gateway 180 homeless shelter in downtown St. Louis.

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Fan Tina Dawid & Author Kim Killion

Fan Tina Dawid & Author Kim Killion

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Tina from O’Fallon said she attended the event because, “Kim Killion is my favorite author. I love everything she does. I just love this event, have had a blast and will definitely be back every year.” Fans were delighted by the night’s final surprise, a Hot Damn Design model! Charles drew the winners for the baskets to the crowd’s boisterous delight.

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Rose’s Bookhouse has made the Naughty and Nice Booksigning an annual event, with plans already in motion to make it bigger and better next year. I had such a great time myself, talking to authors and readers alike. I can’t remember the last time I giggled and smiled that much. I even won one of the door prizes. The Naughty and Nice Booksigning on December 1st, 2012 has been added to my calendar as a not to be missed event next year.

Bottom Line:  Events like this make indie bookstores a must…visit one today.

RomCon

Barbara Vey -- August 12th, 2011
Maggie Mae Gallagher

Maggie Mae Gallagher

 

Beyond Her Book’s newest Cub Reporter, Maggie Mae Gallagher is the author of the Cantati Chronicles, a dark, urban fantasy series. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie runs an office, clerks at a local metaphysical store, writes, and is a personal assistant for hire to an expanding list of authors. Maggie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Romance Writers, Colorado Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.

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The Second Annual RomCon, a reader/author event in Denver, started with the Author Social Event where I met many of my favorite authors and even some new ones. RomCon has this spectacular program called the Buddy Meet-up. Many of the attending authors volunteered to “buddy up” with some of their readers for RomCon and met them at the conclusion of the Author Social.  The readers seemed to gravitate toward Eileen Dreyer and Delilah Marvelle, but as they discover more authors, I see this changing every year.

Friday morning dawned chilly; the cool rocky mountain air had drifted over the plains, so with my coffee cup in tow I headed to the Historical Author Panel. Deeanne Gist, Delilah Marvelle, Isobel Carr, Julia London, Mary Wine, Pamela Nowak, and Robyn DeHart spearheaded the panel. RomCon attendees asked their favorite authors questions such as, how do the authors create their heroes? To quote Delilah Marvelle, the hero she always writes is her husband. And everyone’s heart melted a bit at her response.

The Bloody Hell Crime Scene Investigation Presentation by author and former CSI Expert Tom Adair had plenty of guts and gore.  He showed pictures of murder victims, the splatter patterns their blood made on the carpet, walls and furniture. He went on to explain that through this study CSI Investigators are able to determine how a person was murdered which may lead to uncovering their killer.  Not for the faint of heart.

Jessa Slade and Shannon Butcher

Jessa Slade and Shannon Butcher

I shifted into work mode and became the videographer for the Historical Panel on Highlanders. Authors Melissa Mayhue, Margaret Mallory, and Kim Killion discussed why they love writing sexy highlanders with a little help from the devilishly handsome cover model Brooks Johnson. (Tell me Maggie Mae, was he wearing a kilt?)  Fanning self, it was an exciting and thoroughly entertaining session. One that I’m sure readers will not soon forget. Next up, I moderated an Intimate Chat with Shannon K. Butcher! This event was one of the highlights of the weekend for me as I’m a huge fan of her work.

In the evening, I attended the Wild West Night, where we had the chance to ride a mechanical bull, could learn to rope cattle, have an old time photo in western gear, and learn line dancing. I didn’t ride the bull, but there were some brave souls who did.  After a fabulous chuck wagon buffet, readers headed to the Chocolate Mangasm for desert. Readers had their pictures taken with shirtless cover models For Authors and Readers alike this event was wildly entertaining. The authors had us play naughty bachelorette style games for fake cash that we used at the auction which followed. The competition was heated and fierce for the secret prizes. I won a set of Seven Deadly Sins Gumballs for the bargain price of $1300.00.

Brooks Johnson and Mary Wine

Brooks Johnson and Mary Wine

Saturday morning was the Historical Author’s Fashion Show. Authors  strutted their stuff in authentic Victorian garb. This was a fascinating look into the historical novels that gave readers an opportunity to fine tune their imaginations while reading their favorite historicals.

Saturday afternoon, offered Strip a Hero session where a cover model was divested of most his clothing, a couple times. Authors Jennifer Ashley, Jade Lee and Kim Killion had Brooks act out three skits from their books and the crowd went wild. The evening wrapped up with the Supernatural Supper where readers and authors alike were offered the chance to have their palm read, have a psychic or tarot reading.

The Readers’ Crown Awards Brunch was on Sunday. These awards are voted on by the most important people in an author’s world, their readers. For a list of the all winners you can visit RomCon’s website .

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Readers meeting up with their favorite authors

Readers meeting up with their favorite authors

The final RomCon Event was the Rumble. Similar to speed date an author, readers spent time with their favorite authors and walked away with signed books, special RomCon only trading cards, and a ton of free goodies. I even scored a free eBook from Samhain Publishing!

One reader, Rachel, said this was her second year attending and it had only gotten better than the year before. Karen Doctor reflected that she so thoroughly enjoyed herself last year that she brought her daughter and one of her best friends with her this year.

There were so many other sessions I wanted to attend like the Quick Draw Game and Murder, Darling, Murder, but alas, until cloning is perfected I can’t manage to be in two places at once. RomCon was interesting for me because I was able to view it from both sides of the aisle. This is one of the first conventions I’ve ever experienced where the reader takes precedence. The intimate settings allowed readers an all access pass to their favorite authors. And all the authors in attendance worked their tails off to ensure their readers had a fabulous time, which we did. I know I had a blast this past weekend. I’m already looking forward to RomCon next year. Even if I have to get out on the runway and hitchhike, I’ll be there! See you in Denver June 22nd -24th, 2012!

Bottom Line:  I’ve already added “Save the Date” on my calendar.