Welcome to the first flash fiction story of our 5th Annual Halloween Flash Fiction Event! I always love reading the seasonal stories our authors come up with, inspired by some amazing artwork by creators on DeviantArt.com. Today’s story is courtesy of Morgan Brice, and is a holiday view into her Badlands world. The inspiration…

via CMCon19 Halloween Flash Fiction Event: by Morgan Brice — Books Make Me Happy

#CMCon19: What To Expect

Hello all 🙂

Recently, in the Authors & Attendees group on Facebook, we spent some time going through some of the things readers can expect during next year’s seventh annual Coastal Magic Convention. It was a fun way to introduce new attendees to some things to look forward to, and a good way to highlight some differences for our returning friends. In case you missed it, here’s a bit of what our #CMCon19 weekend will look like.

MiniBootCamp5x5Thursday will start off with a Writer Mini Boot Camp, sponsored by Book Lovers Con. This is a separate event, with separate ticketing. The Mini Boot Camp admission can be purchased alone, or in addition to the full Coastal Magic weekend registration.

The five hour program (10am – 3pm, $35) is an extension of the intense, two day Writer Boot Camp previously presented annually at the RT Booklovers Convention, and continuing at Book Lovers Con. Workshop instructors will be Coastal Magic Featured Authors Tere Michaels (Emotional Arcs: The Universal Story) and Damon Suede (Character Building: Action Figures). The two will be joined by additional authors for a panel Q&A. (You can read about the workshops and other info in this post.)

The first officially scheduled Coastal Magic event will be our Welcome Mingle, which willWelcomeMingle1 have a Mardi Gras theme next year. (Mardi Gras starts on Saturday, but we’re taking advantage of the theme all weekend long!)

The Welcome Mingle is our “party night”, and is moving to Thursday for the first time next year. We’re also toning it down just a bit, so people will have more of a chance to catch up with old friends, and get to know new people. We’ll still have music playing, and we’re toying with the idea of a smaller dance floor (not decided yet), on one side of the room, so that the music isn’t as loud for those chatting on the other side. I hope this gives everyone a fun place to “land” when they arrive, and a good way to kick off the weekend. As for any of our themed events, if you’re up for dressing the part, GREAT! But “come as you are” is totally welcome, as well. 🙂

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For anyone who wondered about our usual Thursday evening fare… don’t worry, it didn’t go far. Cinema Craptastique has simply shifted to Friday night. It’s a move that’s been asked for for a few years now, and we’re finally gonna give it a try next year. If you’ve never been to/participated in a Cinema Craptastique, you’re definitely in for an experience. After a day of panels and meet & greets, and a break for dinner, our emcee Damon Suede will lead us in live tweeting an awesomely awful movie, with popcorn and prizes to boot! It’s an annual favorite for both authors and attendees, and is always full of laughs. Publicly appropriate pajamas are totally encouraged, lol.

Saturday is full of crazy cool stuff.

First, we’ll be continuing with our panels and meet & greets. Then, readers and authors will get to have lunch together! Lunch With An Author is our annual chance to break LunchandSigning1things down and keep them simple. This “no promo” lunch is included in the registration, and gives readers a chance to choose an author to sit with (four/five readers per author), and spend some quality time getting to know each other.

Later in the afternoon will be our annual book sale/signing. Each of our Featured Authors and additional Signing Only Authors will be available to convention attendees, and the signing is open (free) to the public. Books will be available for purchase, and you can have them personalized by the authors. We do allow for readers to bring a total of five books from home to have signed during the signing. We do encourage attendees to support the participating authors by purchasing books on site, if possible. If you’re an “ebook only” reader, many authors will have swag items you can get signed as keepsakes, and are happy to take pictures with fans.

GameNight1Saturday night will see the return of our Game Night! This is a fun way to spend our last evening together, and allows attendees the chance to get frantic and frenzied during SWAG BINGO, or chill out with authors and other readers for board games, card games, coloring, and other relaxing activities.

For anyone not familiar with SWAG BINGO, it’s an hour long, prize filled game full of swaggie goodness. Our amazing and generous Featured Authors will be contributing swag and novelties to the welcome bags every attendee receives. In addition to the information that you obviously get from promo swag (book release dates, collectible character cards, freebie book codes, etc.), in this game, it can win you prizes!! Hosted by a handful of Featured Authors, you’ll be asked to find specific items in your piles of swag. (Ex: cowboy hat, book title in green font, ocean scene, author name with only five letters, etc.) Find enough items to make a BINGO, and YOU WIN!

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Sunday we’ll be winding down and saying goodbye, but not until we’ve had a few fun panel discussions, and had a bit more SWAG fun.

SWAG Crafts is a fun way to turn your swag into keepsake or dual use items. Collect items into a simple, mini scrapbook, or add ribbon to create bookmarks showcasing your favorite authors or characters. Join authors and readers who have lots of ideas, and make something awesome even awesomer, lol!

The last thing on Sunday is always our Feedback & Farewell discussion. This is an open forum for attendees (authors and readers) to chat about what they really enjoyed during the weekend, what didn’t work quite as well, and offer suggestions for the following year. I always look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and ideas while they’re still fresh in people’s minds.

So, there you have it. The final schedule, complete with panel topics and other goodies will be posted towards the end of the year, but this is a basic rundown of the bigger events. I hope that helps everyone get excited about what’s to come next February!!

#CMCon19 & Book Lovers Con present Writer Mini Boot Camp: Feb 28, 2019

Coastal Magic Convention is a “reader event”, which means the focus is on bringing authors and readers together for fun bookish times. We’ve had some attendees who are also aspiring or published writers ask about craft panels or workshops. As a reader event, this didn’t really fit into our focus, but NEXT year, we have a plan!!

I am SO EXCITED to announce a partnership with the Book Lovers Con (formerly RT Booklovers Convention), to bring a Writer Mini Boot Camp to Coastal Magic 2019!!

Both Tere Michaels and Damon Suede have been presenting sold out workshops at local and national writers’ events around the country. Our five hour program is an abbreviated version of the popular two day Author Boot Camp they have presented for the last few years, and will continue to present at the new Book Lovers Con.

Boot Camp attendees will get two in-depth workshops and an “all access” Q&A with a panel of published authors.

Emotional Arcs: The Universal Story with Tere Michaels
Emotional arcs are universal stories, connections to the human psyche, the journey of your characters. No matter what the genre, every character must have a journey and that journey must be the backbone of the book! We’ll discuss how to take your stories to the next emotional level, connecting with your readers to make your story linger far beyond the last page. You’ll come out of this workshop with a workable plan to evaluate your WIP for the emotional arc, as well as how to build future stories.

Character Building: Action figures with Damon Suede
Bestsellers start with fascinating people. In this session we’ll take your fictional folks to the next level with a simple, powerful technique that will strengthen your plots, your hooks, and your voice. Go beyond looks, persona, and boilerplate traits so you can build the perfect cast to dazzle your readers. Compelling characters boost your writing process and anchor your career at any stage. Whether you like to wing it or bring it, you’ll leave this workshop with a new set of practical, hands-on tools to populate your pages and lay the foundations of unforgettable fiction.

Spilling Secrets of Publishing (Panel TBA)
Join some Coastal Magic authors for a frank and fun discussion of publishing – what we know, what we’ve learned and what we think is going to happen down the road! Bring your questions, especially the ones you’ve always wanted to ask (but never got the chance to).

You can register to attend the Writer Mini Boot Camp (separate from the Coastal Magic Convention – requires a separate registration) here… https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coastal-magic-convention-2019-tickets-45165316678https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coastal-magic-convention-2019-tickets-45165316678. Seating is limited and will likely sell out.

So… are YOU excited about this new addition to the Coastal Magic weekend?

Registration For Coastal Magic (#CMCon19) Has Started!

It’s time, y’all! It’s TIME!!!

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It’s July 1st, and that means you can now get registered to attend the 7th annual Coastal Magic Convention! We announced the Featured Author listing yesterday (click HERE if you missed it), and you can now reserve your spot to hang out with them and other readers during our event weekend in Daytona Beach, Feb 28 – Mar 3, 2019

As readers,  we’re always looking for amazing stories and storytellers. I think one of the best (and most fun) ways to find new authors to add to our “to be read” piles is at a book event. It’s also a fantastic way to spend time with authors we already know and love.

Registration for our small(ish), casual shindig is always limited to 300. So if you want to escape a “white winter” for some “beachy blues” next February, you need to register sooner than later! Mardi Gras weekend just happens to start during our shindig next year, so expect jazzy purple, green, and gold to be a recurring theme!

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Some of the things attendees can look forward to are a Mardi Gras themed Welcome Mingle on Thursday night, multiple themed meet & greets with small groups of authors, Cinema Craptastique (live tweeting an awesomely awful movie) with live commentary by emcee Damon Suede, “Lunch with an Author” on Saturday, lots of fun panel discussions, a few author-hosted panel activities, and more.

Full weekend registration is $100, and will get you:

  • Welcome Bag full of goodies (books & swag) from authors and publishers
  • Access to all officially scheduled panels, parties, and activities
  • “Lunch With An Author” on Saturday (meal is provided)
  • Access to book sale/signing on Saturday (also open to the public)
  • Random shenanigans!

If you’ve been with us before, you know how this all works, and we’d love to see you again. ❤ If you’re  new to Coastal Magic, HI THERE!!! I think you would have an awesome time. Since I may be a bit biased, I don’t expect you to just take my word for it, though. CLICK HERE to see some things previous authors and readers have said about their time with us. Then… head over to our registration page to claim your spot for the weekend.

See you all by the beach!!

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PS: You’re all welcome to come join us in the Coastal Magic Convention Authors & Attendees Facebook group! We’ll be talking about event related stuff, random book stuff, and our authors will pop in from time to time to chat, as well! If you’re on the fence about registering, this may be a great place to get an idea of what you can expect during our weekend.

Coastal Magic 2019 Featured Author Reveal!

Hello, all of you awesome reader peoples!! Today is one of my very favorite days of the year. The day I get to share the beginning of our next Coastal Magic Convention Featured Author lineup!!!

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There will be more happening in the next few days (LIKE REGISTRATION FOR #CMCON19 STARTING TOMORROW), so keep an eye out for a few more posts with info and links that will come in handy. 🙂 For now… here are some of the authors we’ll be hanging out with next year in Daytona Beach.

Eric R Asher
Bru Baker
Kait Ballenger
Dana Marie Bell
Shannon Bell
Tonya Burrows
Ashlyn Chase
Charlie Cochet
Deborah Cooke / Claire Delacroix
Cynthia D’Alba
Alyssa Day
Sierra Dean
Poppy Dennison
Sonali Dev
Lucienne Diver
Hank Edwards
S Usher Evans
Maggie Mae Gallagher
Vivien Jackson
Darynda Jones
Tawdra Kandle
Kiernan Kelly / Dakota Chase
Amy Lane
Jade Lee / Kathy Lyons
Lucy Lennox
Gail Z Martin / Morgan Brice
Z A Maxfield
Hildie McQueen
Tere Michaels
Sarah Nicolas / Aria Kane
Nancy Northcott
Jessica Scott
H D Smith
S E Smith
Victoria Sue
Damon Suede

As awesome as this listing already is… THERE WILL BE MORE! We’ve got some confirmed authors that I’m still getting all sorted and settled, and a few that I’m in contact with, but need to work out deadline and scheduling details before they can fully commit. If you’re familiar with Coastal Magic, you’ll know this isn’t unusual… and just means that I get to give you all little surprises for the next few weeks/months. 🙂 (I do love my job, lol!!)

I’m SO happy with our current group of incredible storytellers. I love that we have so many authors coming back to hang out with us again, yet we’ve made room for some brand new peeps to get to know. I love that we include urban fantasy, paranormal romance and mystery, we’ve got some cozy mystery writers, and lots of sub-genres of romance as well (western, historical, contemporary, etc.)! I’m absolutely sure that regardless of your story, trope, and character preferences, you’ll find something to get excited about. 🙂

Huge “thank yous” go to all of the authors who will be joining us. Taking time away from their families and deadlines is a big deal, and the expense of attending readers events is no small thing. I appreciate their making time to come play with us!!! ❤

If you haven’t checked out our Facebook “Coastal Magic Convention: Authors & Attendees” group page yet, you should do that. I have a feeling there will be some fun chatting happening in there the next few days!! 🙂 I hope you’re all as excited as I am to spend time with these lovely folks in February!!