Coastal Magic Merch Reminder: Rainbow & New Diversity Designs

Hello all!

Just wanted to take a quick minute to remind anyone who may be interested that Coastal Magic has merchandise for sale! Each item sends a little bit our way to use for towards things during the convention weekend. (And when I say a little bit, I do mean a little bit – but it all adds up!)

I do a couple of new designs for each year (more on that in a minute) but we have a couple of designs that I’d like to highlight specifically.

Last year I adjusted our CMCon logo to include rainbow colors, in support of Pride month and our LGBT+ community family. Those items are still available. This year I was asked to include a version with shades of color to represent diversity in recognition of Juneteenth. I hope this new addition serves as a way to show our appreciation of the incredible authors, readers, and stories that bring the richness of ethnic and cultural diversity to Coastal Magic. We are a stronger community thanks to the unique gifts we all bring to share.

The merch site we use doesn’t have a great search feature, but clicking on the graphics below should take you to the pages with the items in each collection. You can also click HERE, and scroll (patiently, pages load slowly, lol) through our entire current collection.

In July, I’ll be revealing the new designs for our 2023 Coastal Magic weekend. In recent years we’ve done three options each year — one “fancy” quote or saying, one logo design, and one for our reading challenge. The plan is to do all three for #CMCon23, as well. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when those are ready to go up, and older designs come down.

Coastal Magic Convention 2023 Featured Author Reveal & General Registration Begins!!

It’s time to start the #CMCon23 shenanigans!! “But it’s only June 1st”, you say? Correct! June 1st marks the start of our 11th annual event “season”, as it’s become known. Between now and our official event weekend, we’ll have reading challenges, online chats, games and contests, author spotlights, and all manner of bookish tomfoolery. 🙂

For right now, the most important information for you is…

1) OUR FEATURED AUTHOR LISTING IS LIVE!! I’ll be updating the page with fancy author graphics with bios and links to web pages throughout the day, but you can see the current listing on the page in text form HERE. I’ve still got a handfull of authors to add, and will do so as they finalize their own schedules and we get them settled in. Keep your eyes open for announcements about those authors in the next few weeks.

2) #CMCON23 GENERAL REGISTRATION IS OPEN!! We’re doing the two part registration again this year, just so that it will match up with all of the registrations that are transferring from last year (before we had to go virtual). I know it’s a bit of a chore to do both steps, but I really appreciate your patience one more time. Next year, when we don’t have to worry about anything transferring or matching up reports (that’s a “me” thing, lol), we’ll go back to the easy peasy, one-step process. ❤ For all the details, check our REGISTRATION page HERE. Can’t wait to see all of you!!

3) THE READING CHALLENGE HAS STARTED!! This group of readers/attendees just absolutely blows me away with their dedication to our event, and to our authors. Whether your goal is to read something by every author before the convention weekend, or just sample a few here and there… they’ll help you find your way. They’re so much fun. You can check out all the details fo the Reading Challenge on it’s own site HERE, and you can join the Reading Challenge FB group HERE. Happy Reading!!

4) THE PLAZA RESORT & SPA: I’ll be posting the link to our custom reservations page at our host hotel next week. We’ve got a discounted rate and some cool perks, so I hope you’ll be staying with us on site. I’ll be sure to make a big noise what that’s ready, so everyone can make their arrangements.

I’ll be posting this info to our social media outlets (including our Authors & Attendees Facebook group), and sending it out in a newsletter, so I apologize all of your inboxes are full of Coastal Magic info for the next day or two, lol!!

Feel free to share posts and links with your reader friends — we’d love to see you all by the beach!

#CMCon23 Save The Date!! (Hint: It’s Feb 23-26, 2023!!)

Well, we’ve managed to get through the first 10 years of bookish shenanigans… who’s up for a few more??

If you raised your hand, or said “me!”, I’ve got news for you! The 11th annual Coastal Magic Convention will be February 23-26, 2023. Mark your calendars and tag all your book buddies. After two years of virtual events, I’m so excited to be heading back to the beach next year. (Yeah, I know, that was supposed to be the gameplan THIS year… but I think we we’ve got a great chance of actually being able to DO it, this time.)

I’m sorry this announcement has been so delayed. Obviously we weren’t the only organization that had to cancel or postpone their in-person events the last couple of years. Right now, getting hotel space at a reasonable rate (event space and room rates), especially if your preferred dates are somewhat limited, is SUPER difficult. As much as the Hilton has been a fantastic home for us for many years… with so many changes, and so much competition, I just wasn’t able to reach an agreement with them. However… it’s not all sad news!!! Our new home has been one of my top choices every time I’ve looked for space for us. And they’ve just done a major facelift and refresher on the entire property, so I’m really loving the new feel of the place!

The Plaza Resort & Spa is only a few blocks north of our previous location, still right on the beach. There is dining on site, and lots of options within the immediate couple of blocks around the hotel. The event space is gorgeous, the hotel reps have been a delight, and I’m very, very excited to start making new memories in this lovely location!!

As a reminder — those of you who completed BOTH registration steps for the 2022 weekend (the form on EventBrite, and the payment through PayPal) will have their registration transferred to our 2023 event. You’re all set. Everyone received a notification of that from EventBrite back in February, but I’ll be sending a second email to confirm your intention to attend next year soon. There will be an announcement when those emails start to go out, so you’ll all know to watch for yours. 🙂

We’ll still be starting general registration for anyone who is NOT being transferred from this year on June 1st, as usual, along with opening up our group block for the hotel. We will also be doing our Featured Author Reveal — and I can’t wait to announce all the incredible authors who will be coming to hang out by the beach with us!!!

June will also be the start of this “season” of our Reading Challenge, and I’ll be sharing some of our plans for CMCChats, author spotlights, games and contests, and other fun stuff to look forward to!! Watch our Facebook Authors & Attendees group for some Q&A posts and/or live chats in early June. I’ll be around to answer as many of your questions as I can.

I hope you’re all as excited as I am to start our second decade together. 🙂

#CMCon22 Wrap-Up, Thank Yous, and “In Case You Missed It” Links

It’s been almost two weeks since Coastal Magic wrapped up it’s second year as a virtual event, and 10th year as a real live thing that I made!! I still can’t believe that ten years have gone by since we gathered for “Olde City, New Blood” in that unfortunate hotel on St. Augustine beach. I still remember so much about that weekend, the really great parts, and the not so great parts. One of the highlights was the “Dating Game”, where authors answered questions “as” their characters! So much fun! I learned a lot from that first weekend. Not the least of which was how amazing the book community can be. ❤

Recent years have been much different – and I hope, much improved – from that first year. Our little community has grown, and we’ve created some amazing memories. 🙂 Despite the circumstances, I think even our virtual events have given us a special way to connect. If you were able to join us for this year’s programming — THANK YOU! I hope you had fun! If you missed our discussions, games, and other shenanigans — you can watch most everything via replay on our Facebook page, or on our YouTube channel. Links can be found on the schedule page, HERE.

I posted my dedicated “thank yous” for this year on social media, but wanted to share them here as well, in case anyone missed them.

The “thank you” part of wrapping up each year’s Coastal Magic is one of my favorite things. You might think that planning a virtual event is much easier than an in-person event. In some respects, it is. But there are challenges that you just don’t even imagine until you’re “in the thick of it”. This year we had 16 panel discussions, 10 activities/games, 12 individual author Q&As, live book signing chats, a writer workshop, and a 1985 themed murder mystery game!! The people who support Coastal Magic, and me, even in these strange times are absolute rock stars. The fact that we’ve been doing this together for 10 years now is absolutely mind-blowing! This little shindig that I had to be talked into putting together has become a real community of people who care about each other, support each other, and look forward to their time together every year. Every single author who has participated during one (or more) of our weekends… every single reader who’s come across the country (or signed on to their computer) to hang out with fellow booklovers… each of you has made Coastal Magic Convention something I’m so, so proud of, and something I’m happy to be sharing with all of you.

I hope you all realize how special you are, and how very thankful I am for each of you. ❤

My first specific thank you is to our incredible lineup of Featured Authors. Considering the focus of this event has always been to bring readers and authors together for a fun weekend, we literally could not do this without you. But more than that… your genuine excitement for the weekend, your generosity with your time, and your patience while I turned things upside down and a little bit backwards for this year is appreciated more than you know. ❤ Thanks for chatting with us, playing along and being ridiculous, and for stepping in when I needed help. Thanks for taking time away from your own family and deadlines to spend time with us. ❤ Some of you have been active since June, and others focused attention on the convention weekend, proper – either way, our readers have loved all of their time with you.

The next set of thank yous for all they did during the lead up to this year’s Coastal Magic, and on the weekend proper, are our Featured Bloggers and the Reading Challenge group. Two very specific groups who impacted the convention is tremendous ways.

Our Featured bloggers spent months doing spotlights with our authors and sharing the news and updates about the event. Their help in making sure their readers know about the Coastal Magic helps us grow a little more every year, and their assistance during the planning stages of things is invaluable.

Definitely check out their blogs, they have great things to share.

That’s What I’m Talking About, Joyfully Jay Reviews, Little Read Riding Hood / Read Head Editing, A Book Lover’s Adventures / Literary Escape Community

The Reading Challenge group is an actual bookish force of nature. 100%. Their dedication to the event, and to spotlighting our authors and supporting each other (even though they’re all trying to out-read each other in friendly competition) is amazing. Between June and February they read AND reviewed 1235 books by our Featured Authors – read 286,875 pages – and many read at least one book by each of the 52 authors on our original 2022 lineup!! Not only that – they’ve created their own community-inside-a-community and declared themselves the Coastal Magic Convention street team, LOL! Leading the group and giving more time and effort to the event than I can measure – huge thanks, as always, to Dolorianne. I can’t express how much I, and Coastal Magic as a whole, appreciate all the Reading Challenge group adds to our event.

My last dedicated, sincere thank you goes to our amazing readers/“attendees”. Coastal Magic only works when you are active and engaged. And to my genuine delight, you’ve been active and engaged for 10 years now.

I love your enthusiasm for our authors. I love your interest in discovering new books and authors to read. I love the community you’ve built with each other. I love your silliness, and willingness to be silly with all the rest of us. I love your feedback every year, in an effort to make each Coastal Magic exactly what we want and need it to be. Thank you for your patience as the last few years have turned our weekend on its head a bit. Thank you for still showing up, even in little computer screen boxes that are far from the “beachside reader weekend” I promise in our tagline.

Thank you for supporting Coastal Magic. Thank you for supporting me. Just, thank you.

A sneak peek at where all the #CMCon22 magic happened, lol. Sadly, no palm trees in sight.

It’s TONIGHT! It’s TONIGHT! #CMCon22 Pre-Con Activities Start Tonight – 8pm! (EST)

Coastal Magic Convention’s virtual 10th Anniversary event starts TONIGHT at 8pm with Mystery/Suspense BINGO!

We’ll be sharing the Zoom link for anyone who’d like to play along shortly before the game starts. You don’t have to be on screen to play, either. Join the Zoom and leave your video off. We just need to be able to hear you shout BINGO! 🙂 And yes, there WILL be prizes!

There will be one or two things each evening this week, leading to our opening night on Thursday, and full days of programming Friday through Sunday. Just because we can’t be at the beach, doesn’t mean we won’t be having fun with our authors, and with all of YOU!!

Tune in live on the Coastal Magic Convention Facebook page, or watch a replay later on Facebook or YouTube. (We’ll also be streaming the live into our Authors & Attendees Facebook group.)

Check out the full pre-con and convention weekend schedule — including discussion panels, games & activities, and virtual book signings on the “Schedule” tab! (Or click HERE!)

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