Sunday, March 10, 2019


Oh how I love a good book convention! And Coastal Magic is one of my favorites! Jennifer Morris has put on this fabulous event each and every year for the past seven years, and it just keeps getting better and better each time! Great authors and great readers attending!

And for a book convention to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida in February is a definite positive for those suffering the cold winter up north! Yes, we were right there on the beach, watching the waves roll up on the sand, seagulls scurrying around and amazing sunrises over the water!

We arrived a day early so that we could lend Jennifer a hand with registration and stuffing the fabulous Welcome Bags that each attendee received. These were stuffed with books and swag contributed by the various authors. Each attendee also received a fabulous T-shirt (super soft and so cute!). The shirts were donated by Dreamspinner and Jennifer Morris is the person who designed these adorable shirts!

Prior to the official start of Coastal Magic, Book Lovers Con presented a Writers' Mini Boot Camp. I understand that it was well attended!

Later that night we had a MARDI GRAS theme Welcome Mingle, with "King Cake" cupcakes and New Orleans Jazz music. 

In New Orleans style, some of those cupcakes had a baby hidden inside. If you found one, you not only had good luck and prosperity for the coming year, but you also got a free drink! Debra Jess was one of the lucky winners!  Of course there was a sign of warning!


It was a fun evening with lots of flair!

I managed to get some Mardi Gras beads on Hank Edwards, and take a few pictures of Cynthia D'Alba, Darynda Jones, Becca Jameson and Lucienne Diver.

It was so much fun mingling with these great authors!  

It was all I could do to not go all fan-girl when I saw Darynda Jones! Have you read her Charley Davidson books? WOW! 

And Cynthia D'Alba has such a great sense of humor along with some really great books. I love these ladies!

After a delicious breakfast at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort restaurant, we wandered on in to a few of the panel discussions (although I'm not sure I should call them discussions because there was more laughter than words at some of them). 

I started my morning with "We Are Family" as we chatted with authors about how they felt including marriage and children in their stories. Those authors included Tere Michaels, Victoria Sue, Sonali Dev, Tawdra Kandle and S.E. Smith.

The next panel I attended was an all-time favorite, "Trope, Trope, Trope... Goose!" This is where we discussed our favorite story tropes. With Cynthia D'Alba, Hildie McQueen, Bru Baker, Rene Folsom and Amy Lane, you know we had some laughs. And I'm so glad I got this photo when I did because Cynthia worked so hard getting that blanket up on the wall for the three minutes that it actually stayed there.

After that, it was time for me to get back to work because I was moderating the next panel "You're my Inspiration".  I had a great panel of authors answering questions about what inspires their writing, but because I was working I didn't get a chance to take pictures. (sigh)  

After lunch, I sat in on "The Sweet Stuff" where we talked ROMANCE! This was a fun panel that included Rene Folsom, Damon Suede, April Alieda, Hildie McQueen and Tawdra Kandle.  Laugh? Oh yes! With Damon Suede in the panel, I laughed until my sides ached!

But the laughter didn't stop there because my all-time favorite panel was next... "Improve Flash Fiction"! This is where the authors create a story, round-robin style, based on audience prompts. The creativity flowed and the laughter was non-stop!

Later that night was another all-time favorite... Cinema Craptastique! That's where they show a totally crappy movie, but with Damon Suede as emcee, it was quite entertaining!

Saturday morning started out with more panels before we broke for "Lunch With an Author". Okay... I'm definitely going all fan-girl here because I was able to have lunch with one of my favorite authors, S.E. Smith! 

I am currently in the middle of reading her Dragon Lords of Valdier series and loving each and every book! On top of being such an amazing author, she is genuinely an extremely nice person.

There were two authors at each table for lunch, so I was actually able to sit with Tere Michaels as well. Yes! Another fabulous author and terrific person!

Oh! And if you're a foodie, the lunch was Tex-Mex and yummy!

After lunch we had our choice of "Second Nature" panel discussion or "RooMADnce LIBS Meet & Greet", which took Mad Libs to a whole new level!

Then came the Public Book Sale/Signing! Wow! So many books and so little room on my shelves. I'm hoping I can sneak into my house later without hubby seeing how many books I brought home. **wink**

We had Amy Lane and Lucy Lennox...

And there was Cynthia D'Alba (if you can see her behind her mountain of books!) In addition to having some great books for sale, Cynthia was giving away some awesome swag, including a cute magnetized chip clip. I grabbed one of those! I always seem to need those little clips.

And Darynda Jones was autographing books too! Even though I've already read several of her Charley Davidson series ebooks, I couldn't help myself and bought First Grave on the Right (Book 1) again in paperback... just so that I could get a signed copy! 

I'm sure she must have had writer's cramp by the end of the day. 

There were so many people crowded around her table, I'm glad I got to chat with her later.

This was the first time James Hunter has been to Coastal Magic, and although very popular, he was a new-to-me author.  After meeting him and learning more about his books, he is now on my TBR list! Love those book covers!

And then there was Kiernan Kelly. This lady totally amazed the audience during the Flash Fiction panel. Witty and quick, she had us in hysterics! 

Kiernan was sitting right next to Tawdra Kandle. Sorry Tawdra! I snapped the picture as you looked away.

Lucienne Diver and Hank Edwards shared a table. Both of these authors are talented and fun with some awesome books!

Mandie Stevens was pulling double duty! She is both an author and a Featured Blogger at Coastal Magic Convention. Check out her blog at "Taking Time for Mommy"! 

So many authors! I have more pictures, but space just won't let me allow to post them all.

Susan Smith (known in the author world as S.E. Smith) had a table heaping with books, dragons and swag.  Did you see the amazing fans she was giving out? Perfect for those warm Florida days! And T-shirts! Super cute! I got a pack of hand drawn Christmas cards that are so adorable!

At the end of the day, my daughter Tracy, my granddaughter Jen, Susan Smith, Narelle Todd (seen standing next to Susan in the picture) and I went to dinner together to a nearby restaurant, Caribbean Jack's. We had such a great time getting to know each other. Susan and Narelle are absolutely delightful and we had an amazing evening!

One more thing I must post before I go... THE CHARITY RAFFLE!  Every year, the generous authors provide awesome baskets, filled with books, wine, and all things good. These baskets are then raffled off on Sunday morning. All proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. 

Although none of my tickets won a basket this year, I did win a beautiful basket from Tawdra Kandle as part of the I Wanna Be Loved Bayou social media game. Mine was filled with all things London to coincide with Tawdra's book "The Anti-Cinderella Takes London". 

Thank you Tawdra!

I have many more pictures, and I could probably talk about more of the panels and other happenings, but instead I'll just add that you really need to be there! Mark your calendars for next year! Coastal Magic is an event you seriously do not want to miss!


  1/4 cup lime juice
  2 tablespoons olive oil
  4 cloves garlic, crushed
  2 teaspoons soy sauce
  1 teaspoon salt
  1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1 lb. sirloin steak or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1 teaspoon soy sauce
  1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  1 dash of salt
  1 dash of black pepper
  1 tablespoon olive oil
  1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
  1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
  1/2 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
1).  Combine the lime juice, oil, garlic, soy sauce, salt, liquid smoke, peppers, and either sirloin or the chicken in a bowl and cover.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
2).  Grill meat over medium flame 4-5 minutes on each side.  (You can also sauté the meat on the stove, if you don’t have a grill.)  Remove meat and cut into thin strips.  Set aside and keep warm.
3).  Combine the 2 tablespoons water, soy sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
4).  Cook onion and peppers in oil until brown.  Remove from heat.  Pour reserved mixture over onions and peppers.
5).  Combine meat, onions and peppers.  Serve on warm tortillas.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes (or pico de gallo), lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

*Note:  I like to add the onions to the marinade with the meat for additional flavor. 


Cynthia D'Alba said...

Thank you for your recap and pictures and extremely kind words about me.

I agree with you that Coastal Magic should be on everyone's list as a "not to miss" conference.

See you next year!

Scherry said...

It was great seeing you again Cynthia! Looking forward to next year!

Narelle Todd said...

Great write up on the Con, Scherry. This was my first Coastal Magic and it was wonderful. Going to dinner with you guys was a highlight. Even though Jamie A. Waters couldn’t be there in person, I got to discover her as a new to me author and devoured her stories over the next week. So good!!!!

Scherry said...

I love Coastal Magic and mark my calendar for it every year as soon as I know the dates! Narelle, I truly enjoyed meeting you and sharing some laughs and great conversation at dinner. I'm so glad you enjoyed Jamie's books too! I love her writing style. I hope we get to meet again soon!

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