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Posted February 19, 2017 by davincikittie in Contests & Giveaways
 
 

#CMCon17 Wrap-up & #Giveaway: Four reasons why Coastal Magic is still the best little reader con out there


Putting together a conference is a tremendous amount of work. And it doesn’t really pay…in money, at least. Being a Featured Blogger gives you access to some opportunities and experiences normal convention-goers don’t get, and being behind the scenes really sheds light on the sheer insanity just waiting to bubble over in the background. I have rarely seen such selfless dedication to a cause as Jennifer Morris and her so very generous family members when it comes to Coastal Magic.

GraveTells & Jennifer Morris at CMCon17

GraveTells & Jennifer Morris at CMCon17

This conference only accepts 300 readers total, in order to keep the author-reader ratio generous and intimate. There is, without a doubt, something magical about Coastal Magic. CMCon17 did not sell out, but I’d wager it will start to in coming years, and here’s a glimpse of why you want to be on the leading edge of that wave of reader enthusiasm…

Location, location, location

My room's view @ CMCon17

My room’s view @ CMCon17

A lovely dawn wake-up call

A lovely dawn wake-up call

Daytime view from my room

Daytime view from my room

The best breakfast buffet, with custom-made omelets (free for Hilton Gold members)!

The best breakfast buffet, with custom-made omelets (free for Hilton Gold members)!

Coastal Magic takes place in Daytona Beach, Florida—literally right on the beach. Half the rooms in this rather luxurious Hilton hotel have a view just like the ones above. And boy is it peaceful. From my room I was able to see beach-side weddings (with some very yummy-looking Marines!) and morning joggers and watch the sun rise. I only had to open my sliding window to hear the waves crashing and the gulls calling. So beautiful, so invigorating.

Dynamite panels & activities

If you attend the crazy, massive Romantic Times convention, you’re probably familiar with Damon Suede’s Cinema Craptastique, a social media snarkfest that targets a truly terrible mainstream movie each year. The practice run for RT’s Cinema is at CMCon, and the setting is much more intimate. Many people find this to be one of the highlights of the convention.

Lunch with an Author is also a highly coveted event, giving readers a chance to eat lunch with a Featured Author of their choice in a small-group environment (4 readers to one author). And you never know what other authors will be seated at your table. For instance, last year I sat with Donna Herren (Kit Rocha) and Lorelei James. This year was Lara Adrian, Lisa Kessler, and Tonya Burrows.

CMCon17 Lunch with an Author

CMCon17 Lunch with an Author

Lunch with Lara Adrian

Lunch with Lara Adrian

Lunch with an Author at CMCon17: Lara Adrian, Lisa Kessler, & Tonya Burrows

Lunch with an Author at CMCon17: Lara Adrian, Lisa Kessler, & Tonya Burrows

This year’s party theme was Movie Magic, and attendees showed up in an array of unique and striking costumes…

The best Katniss ever, author & blogger Chelle Olson

The best Katniss ever, author & blogger Chelle Olson

Drake Austin's creepy self...what were you again?

Drake Austin’s creepy self…what were you again?

Stephen Osborne as the menacing Phantom (not to be confused with the Phantom Menace *shudder*)

Stephen Osborne as the menacing Phantom (not to be confused with the Phantom Menace *shudder*)

Selfie station with Sookie Stackhouse...I mean author & blogger Chelsea Mueller

Selfie station with Sookie Stackhouse…I mean author & blogger Chelsea Mueller

Queen Graylin Fox...whose tiara I coveted

Queen Graylin Fox…whose tiara I coveted

Sue from GraveTells, Jennifer Morris from Books Make Me Happy, Jen "Twimom" from That's What I'm Talking About, and author Chudney Thomas

Mahlet, Sue from GraveTells, Jennifer Morris from Books Make Me Happy, Jen “Twimom” from That’s What I’m Talking About, and author Chudney Thomas

Kiernan Kellys facepainting magic

Author Kiernan Kelly‘s facepainting magic

GraveTells and Rebecca Zanetti

GraveTells and Rebecca Zanetti

Dancing the night away

Dancing the night away

The Flash Fiction panel draws a HUGE crowd every year. Who wouldn’t want to watch some of the funniest authors at the con making up the most ridiculous(ly dirty) stories on the fly?

And THEN...

And THEN…

View More: http://gracefulartandphotography.pass.us/cmc17

One of my favorite things about being a Featured Blogger for this con is having the opportunity to moderate panels. I always enjoy the Music panel, but totally forgot to take a group selfie. Shout-out to Lisa Kessler, Kathleen Collins, Chudney Thomas, BA Tortuga, and Shannon Bell for being such great fun! I also completely neglected to snag a photo op with the Super Bad vs Supernaturally Bad panel—Kait Ballenger, Damon Suede, JA Souders, Rebecca Zanetti, & Amy Lane—you guys were awesome! Here are a few of my other favorites from this year:

The Killing Game with Amy Lane, Dee Davis, Eric Asher, and Graylin Fox

The Killing Game with Amy Lane, Dee Davis, Eric Asher, and Graylin Fox

Some of the con’s activities are even more special, set up by the authors themselves as a thank you to their fan groups. Huge thanks to Chelle Eden (author duo Chelle Olson and Tigris Eden) and Lisa Kessler for including me in their smaller parties! <3

Dinner with Lisa Kessler's Night Angels

Dinner with Lisa Kessler’s Night Angels

Chelle Eden's Ellys in Faeryland preview party

Chelle Eden‘s Ellys in Faeryland preview party

Party! Ellys In Faeryland by Chelle Eden

Party! Ellys In Faeryland by Chelle Eden

Ellys In Faeryland by Chelle Eden

Ellys In Faeryland by Chelle Eden

Making personal connections

This might seem like a duh, but—aside from the incredible location—most of the appeal of Coastal Magic for me is in all the personal relationships I’m able to form with authors, bloggers, and readers. And those relationships last, partly (I believe) because the quality of the time you get to spend together at CMCon is so high. Below are some of the highlights of my shenanigans this year, but in no way covers all the awesome. This post is long enough already! 😉

Breakfast with Asa Maria Bradley

Breakfast with Asa Maria Bradley

Lunch with Dee Davis

Lunch with Dee Davis

Sue (DaVinciKittie) & Gayla Leath, fellow freelance editor!

Sue (DaVinciKittie) & Gayla Leath, fellow freelance editor!

Terrible lunch, excellent company! Damon Suede, Katie Reus, Kathleen Collins, Stephen Osborne, & Sarah Romsa

Terrible lunch, excellent company! Damon Suede, Katie Reus, Kathleen Collins, Stephen Osborne, & Sarah Romsa

One-on-one time with Lisa Kessler

One-on-one time with Lisa Kessler

Heart you, Kathy Lyons!

Heart you, Kathy Lyons!

I ADORED getting to finally meet the lovely, talented, and sweet Katie Reus

I ADORED getting to finally meet the lovely, talented, and sweet Katie Reus

Elicia Hyder, heres to new BFFs!

Elicia Hyder, heres to survivors, warriors, and new BFFs!

A scrumptious dinner with Chudney Thomas, Nicole Plummer, and Amy Lane. Love you ladies!

A scrumptious dinner with Chudney Thomas, Nicole Plummer, and Amy Lane. Love you ladies!

Hanging with Nicole Plummer, my most excellent panel assistant

Hanging with Nicole Plummer, my most excellent panel assistant

And finally, the unforgettable Amy Lane

And finally, the unforgettable Amy Lane

Winning fab prizes

When I say “fab”, I truly mean fabulous. One of this year’s raffle baskets was a super classy Coach purse. I might have put all my tickets in it. I might have not won it. *pout* Still love you, Dee! <3 This year’s raffle raised $1236 for Habitat For Humanity. We had twenty less baskets donated than last year and still raised the same amount of money. How incredible is that?!

Baskets donated for the Habitat for Humanity raffle fundraiser

Baskets donated for the Habitat for Humanity raffle fundraiser

I contributed two baskets for this year’s charity raffle, one from GraveTells—full of crazy awesome swag and books signed by CMCon’s Featured Authors—and one from all my ladies and gents over at the San Francisco Area RWA chapter—full of more awesome signed books and swag.

The GraveTells raffle basket

The GraveTells raffle basket

The GraveTells raffle basket

Signed books from the GraveTells raffle basket

The SFARWA raffle basket

The SFARWA raffle basket

The SFARWA raffle basket
Signed books from the SFARWA raffle basket

The lucky winner of the SFARWA basket!

The lucky winner of the SFARWA basket!

Unicorns!

TC Blue is known for her wild animal hunts at Coastal Magic, and this year’s target was the elusive sparkly-horned unicorn. These adorable little guys had raffle numbers that TC used to give out her own prizes. I brought home two and am sending one out in each Prize Pack below (forgot to put them in the pictures, doh!).

TC Blue Unicorn Hunt

TC Blue unicorn raffle

Giveaway

Speaking of prizes, let’s give some away now. =) Leave a comment on this post (pretty please?), then fill out the prize widget below to enter. Open to world-wide shipping. I’ll draw one winner for each Prize Pack. Good luck!

Prize Pack #1

PrizePack1

Includes:

  • (Signed!) The Alpha King by Victoria Sue
  • Free ebook download from Kathy Lyons (the postcard in the middle has a code)
  • (Not pictured!) One of TC Blue’s unicorns
  • Notebook & pen from Katie Reus and Chudney Thomas
  • Mini notepad from Jennifer Estep
  • Shoe key chain (SO ADORABLE!) from Cynthia D’Alba
  • Portable measuring tape from Asa Maria Bradley
  • Sampler booklet from Gail Z Martin
  • 1001 Dark Nights sampler booklet
  • 1001 Dark Nights 2018 Cruise magnet (I’m going! Will I see you there?)
  • Ellys in Faeryland postcard from Chelle Eden (cover preview – these are very rare right now!)
  • Postcards from Julie Kenner and KC Burn
  • Bookmarks from Alyssa Day, Rising Storm serial, 1001 Dark Nights novellas

Prize Pack #2

PrizePack2

Includes:

  • (Signed!) Rising Storm, Episode 8 by Dee Davis
  • (Not pictured!) One of TC Blue’s unicorns
  • 1001 Dark Nights coloring book with coloring pencils
  • 1001 Dark Nights sampler booklet
  • Free ebook download from Gail Z Martin (the postcard on the right has a code)
  • (Signed!) Short story booklet from Kathy Lyons
  • Goodie pack from Hildie McQueen
  • Mini notepad from Debra Jess
  • Vampires pin from Shannon Bell
  • “Clean hands, dirty books” hand sanitizer from Kiernan Kelly
  • “Shh I’m with my book boyfriend” door hanger from Julie Kenner
  • Drink coaster from Evelyn Lederman
  • Postcards from Nancy Northcott and Diana Marik
  • Bookmarks from Rising Storm serial and 1001 Dark Nights novellas
  • Preview card from HD Smith

davincikittie

 
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.