Returning to #RustCity17: Sage Spelling & Donna MacMeans

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Every book convention must have authors. There’s no question about it and I am working hard to ensure that we not only have a ton of fun people to hang out with, but there’s a wide range of genre talent as well. I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a leap of faith.

With that in mind, let me introduce you to two more fabulous authors who will be taking the plunge with me and coming to Rust City 2017! Make sure you keep an eye out as more authors are announced!

Sage Spelling

SpellingS.200pxSage Spelling fell in love with the romance genre long before she realized her dreams of becoming a writer. As a small child, she was fascinated with fairytales and remembers curling into her mother’s side while her mother would spin tales of faraway worlds, where they all lived happily ever after. Nowadays, Sage tells her own tales of the happily ever after, but with a sexy and passionate twist. She’s a believer of love at first sight, and that love concurs all.

In-between her very boring day job and writing sexy stories, she is in the process of attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Creative Writing and is a contributing blogger for Heroes and Heartbreakers.

Learn more about Sage by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest | Tumblr

Donna MacMeans

MacMeansD.200pxDonna MacMeans writes humorous and intriguing historicals, and paranormals that entice with everything from a Victorian striptease, Japanese shunga, invisibility, and time-travel. Her stories have won many awards including the prestigious Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America, the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Historical Love & Laughter, as well as recognition in many regional contests. She teaches workshops across the country on writing and on taxes for writers. (She’s a licensed CPA ☺ ). Both her books and workshops consistently receive high praise and glowing reviews.

When her fingers aren’t on a keyboard or adding machine, she loves to dance. In fact, she met her husband on a dance floor in Cleveland, Ohio. Married 40+ years, she lives in Columbus, Ohio with two adult children close by and a black cat that loves to attack her ankles. She paints in acrylics, roots for the Ohio State Buckeyes (her alma mater) and periodically creates desserts with copious amounts of alcohol. She’s the Treasurer of the National organization, Romance Writers of America, and a member of Central Ohio Fiction Writers, Northeastern Ohio Romance Writers, and the popular blog group, Romance Bandits. Most important, she’s soon to be a first time Grandmom (yay!). She is always approachable and loves to hear from her readers.

Learn more about Donna by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Tsu | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest

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Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City! Early-bird registration is open until 11:59pm EST on 3/31/2017!

Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2017, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.

Rue Allyn & Stephen Osborne Join #RustCity17!

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Every book convention must have authors. There’s no question about it and I am working hard to ensure that we not only have a ton of fun people to hang out with, but there’s a wide range of genre talent as well. I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a leap of faith.

With that in mind, let me introduce you to two more fabulous authors who will be taking the plunge with me and coming to Rust City 2017! Make sure you keep an eye out as more authors are announced!

Rue Allyn

AllynR.200pxRue Allyn, the imaginary love child of an immortal Scottish knight and Margaret Mitchell, was adopted at birth by a pair of professor experts in Child Development and Education. She loved the parents who raised her and tried very hard to please them by starting school at the age of two and receiving more than 30 years of formal education, culminating in a Ph. D. that led to a number of teaching positions at various universities.

Rue’s creative impulses could not be denied. She searched long and hard in universities, in the US Navy, in retail sales and odd jobs to find release for her undeniable desire to sing out about heart melting romance. She watched old movies, read stories by Dante, Chaucer, Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer, and even-unknown to Rue-her mother’s legendary Gone with the Wind. Not until she met the man of her dreams, her very own True and Perfect Knight, did she discover that while fate had stolen her singing voice, she could–in the traditions of Ovid, Homer, and the Beowulf poet–still sing her songs of heart melting romance by weaving them into stories about love, joy, and ecstasy in all ages. When not writing, loving her spouse, or attending Toastmasters meetings, Rue now travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance.

Learn more about Rue by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon

Stephen Osborne

OsborneS.200pxHello! I live in rural northern Illinois and have a wonderful dog named Christine, named after the heroine of The Phantom of the Opera. I love Broadway musicals, and head into Chicago at least 20 times a year to see shows. Other than writing, I like folk music, watching British TV shows like Doctor Who, and playing games with my admittedly odd group of friends. I first fell in love at the age of 9. Her name was Alexandra Moltke, and she played Victoria Winters on the soap opera Dark Shadows. Yes, I was one of those kids who ran home from school to watch Barnabas and the other spooky people on that show. I obviously never lost my love for the macabre, and it turns up often in my writing. I graduated from Purdue University and went on to manage a pizza restaurant. I also worked in bookstores for many years, and I joined an improvisational comedy troupe and did that for nearly a decade. I now work in a food packaging plant, testing the product before it goes onto the lines…so I basically bake brownies for a living. Someone has to do it. Even though I write about ghosts, zombie bulldogs, and impulsive college students, some of my real life seeps into my writing every now and then. I’m not saying which bits, but there’s a scene in a bedroom in Pop Goes the Weasel which still brings back painful memories…

Learn more about Stephen by following him at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City! Early-bird registration is open until 11:59pm EST on 3/31/2017!

Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2017, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.

Returning to #RustCity17: Stacy McKitrick & AJ Norris

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Every book convention must have authors. There’s no question about it and I am working hard to ensure that we not only have a ton of fun people to hang out with, but there’s a wide range of genre talent as well. I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a leap of faith.

With that in mind, let me introduce you to two more fabulous authors who will be taking the plunge with me and coming to Rust City 2017! Make sure you keep an eye out as more authors are announced!

Stacy McKitrick

McKitrickS.200pxStacy McKitrick fell in love with paranormal romance, decided to write her own in 2009 and found her passion in life. She used to work in accounting, now she spends her time with vampires, ghosts, and aliens. Born in California, she currently resides in Ohio with her husband. They have two grown children.

I love to read. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. And yeah, the house is a mess, what can I say? My favorite reading genres include: horror, suspense/thrillers, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. It’s my love of reading that tempted me to see if I could write. And boy, did that open a door!

Why do I write paranormal romance? Besides loving the happy ever after, I like to make the world up. You’d think with all the horror reading I’ve done, my books would be dark, but I also enjoy humor and that seemed to weasel its way in, so my stories are more on the light side. I wrote my vampires with this theory in mind: If vampires really existed, then they have to blend in with society. No killing to feed (or else there would be no people left). No marks from their bites. They hide in plain sight. You never know, the bartender at your favorite joint just might be a vampire!

Learn more about Stacy by following her at: Website | Facebook | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon

AJ Norris

NorrisAJ.200pxA.J. Norris is a romantic suspense and paranormal romance novelist. She began writing as a way to dim down the voices inside her head. She enjoys being able to get inside someone else’s head, even a fictional one, and see what they see. Watching how her characters deal with difficult situations or squirm with the uncomfortable ones make the hard work of writing all worth it.

She is a movie buff, especially book adaptations, loves watching her son play baseball and communing with other writers. She lives with her family who are extremely tolerant (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer.

Learn more about AJ by following her at: Website | Twitter

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Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City! Early-bird registration is open until 11:59pm EST on 3/31/2017!

Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2017, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.

Showcase Your Treasures – Become a #RustCity17 Vendor!

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shopping-2017Rust City would like to offer artists of all talents and purveyors of bookish/geekish delights a space to showcase their treasures. Whether you’re a seller, an artist, a fan organization, or part of the book community, we would love to have you participate during #RustCity17.

Vendors will be in charge of their own hours so they can participate throughout the event if they wish. However, I am asking all vendors to be available at their tables during the book signing on August 5th. This will be open to the public, so not only will they be exposed to all registered attendees, but to those readers who will only be there for a short time.

Vendors will be in the hallway, outside of the meeting rooms, and will have exposure/visibility not only during the public book signing, but also to all guests staying at the host hotel.

Costs and Provisions:

  • Space is limited, so not all applicants may be granted space.
  • Table prices are $100 for the first table (this includes one badge).
  • Additional tables are $50. Limit of 4 tables.
  • Only 1 badge is included with the purchase of the first table.
  • Additional badges may be purchased at the current registration price.
  • No refunds/transfers or exchanges after acceptance and purchase.

I like to be transparent in what I expect and what I am offering, so if anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at rustcitybookcon @gmail.com. If you are interested in becoming a vendor please fill out the Vendor Application.

A list of all vendors can be found at the Vendor page and will be updated as vendors are confirmed.

Love Books? Be A #RustCity17 Featured Blogger!

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girl-sitting-on-book-rust#RustCity16 wouldn’t have been the success it was without the help of my featured bloggers – Alpha Heroes Book Blog, Shelf Addiction, and Naughty Edition Reviews. Now that I’m starting to plan #RustCity17, I’m looking to find my fellow bloggers who love to celebrate authors and their books, and will be attending Rust City next August.

Are you a blogger who loves sharing their passion for books? Are you interested in participating at Rust City Book Convention (with panels and other events)? If so, Rust City wants you!

I’m looking to gather an eclectic group of bloggers – 10 featured bloggers – from all social media platforms and genres. You don’t have to have the largest, most popular site to be considered. You just have to be enthusiastic and dedicated to spreading the word about our event, our authors, and their books!

The basic requirements and benefits of being a Rust City FEATURED BLOGGER are as follows:

  • Post monthly features relating to the Rust City Book Convention. A loose schedule will be created, keeping things “on track”, but will be flexible enough be able to work within each blogger’s own features. Rust City will help promote your posts by retweeting/sharing via social media as each post goes live, as well as listing each post on the event website.
  • Include the Rust City button/banner in a prominent position on your site, linked to this site. In return, I will include your button and a link to your site on the Rust City website.
  • Help spread the world (without being spammy)
    • On your social media sites or groups.
    • By distributing flyers for Rust City in your area libraries/bookstores/book events/etc. WITH permission from locations (obviously).
  • Help with con prep before and during the event. Thursday August 3rd will be a full day of setup and prep; everyone will be expected to help for a few hours that day.
  • Moderate 3 panels during Rust City and assist with the evening events if needed. Assistance will be available for anyone unsure of what this entails.

If you’re a blogger (or reader) who plans to attend, but is unable to commit as a Featured Blogger and would still like to help in some way:

  • Do at least one post about Rust City. It can be an intro piece, an attending author guest spot, etc. Any posts using the hashtag #RustCity17, or I’m made aware of, will be shared/RTed from the Rust City social media accounts.
  • Display the Rust City button/banner somewhere on your site.
  • Help spread the world (without being spammy) on your social media sites and/or groups; just talk about Rust City.

So…that’s what it will mean to be a Featured Blogger for Rust City. If you’re interested in participating as a Featured Blogger for Rust City 2017, please fill out this form (also available below).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at rustcitybookcon @gmail.com.

Thank you for your interest in participating at the first Rust City Book Convention. I can’t wait to begin working with you!

The #RustCityLFL Is Now Open!

rustcityfll-mapIt’s taken a little more time than planned, but it has finally happened. The #FreeLittleLibrary has been installed and is fully stocked!

The #RustCityLFL (Free Little Library Charter #45517) can be found at the Red Oaks Soccer Complex & Park in Madison Heights, MI.

This location may seem a little off the beaten path (the entire park is fenced in), but it’s one of my favorite places to go. Between the ten different soccer fields, the fabulous playground, and the covered pavilion, the boys and I have spent quite a bit of time there and having the library there is just icing on the cake. Now whenever I go, I’ll be able to check up on the library and see which books have been left.

I’m excited that my city now has it’s own Free Little Library – and to make it even better, the #RustCityLFL is the first to be installed in Madison Heights. I can also tell you it won’t be the last. Of all the things that came out of Rust City, this project has been one of my favorites and I can’t wait to do it again at #RustCity17.

rust-city-free-little-library-02The boys have been just as excited about it too. So much in fact that my youngest insisted on reading one of the books before he would allow us to add it – and then he wanted to be the one to add it. *grin*

I want to say thank you to the City of Madison Heights and Oakland County for allowing us to place it at the Red Oaks Soccer Complex. For the guys at the DPS for installing it so I didn’t have to (which was really a good thing). My father for building it.

I also want to give a rambunctious shout out to everyone who attended the #RustCity16 Book Signing in August and donated books to help fill the library. You came out with so many books that not only did we fill this library, but we could have filled a second. Our #RustCityLFL was a massive success and I can’t wait to see what we can do at #RustCity17 next August.

The Indie Bookstore: Thoughts from #RustCity16 & Ideas for #RustCity17

bookstoreThank you to everyone who has been filling out the Event Feedback form. You’ve given me a lot to think about and a lot of great ideas have already started to swirl.

There is one thing I’m seeing that I would like to get more feedback on, especially from the authors – the Indie Bookstore.

Sadly, if BAM couldn’t order an authors’ books, they weren’t going to sell them; and there was not any special exceptions I could get. They do not do commission sales either, so an author couldn’t bring their books and have BAM sell them in their space. So I was left with either not having the vast majority of the #RustCity16 authors the opportunity of having their books out all weekend, or putting together something myself.

I really wanted to ensure that everyone had a chance to make a sale; and I know from my own experience, that being able to get a book when I want/discover it has a higher chance of being a sale versus having to wait until the book signing to get it. Doing the indie bookstore seemed like the best way to do it, but there were a lot of factors that left me indecisive about implementing it.

It was just weeks before Rust City took place that I finally decided todo it. The volunteers pretty much pants’d it with just an idea of what I wanted; and for the most part, the consensus is they did a fantastic job.  So I definitely want to bring it back again, and we are already working on improvements for next year.

However, the one comment I have received is that some did not like having 2 bookstores present – the Indie and BAM.

I get this. Readers want to be able to get all their books in one place. However this all goes back to the ordering issue – either all authors have books available or only a certain few. There was one big difference between the two though. Proceeds from the BAM sales did go towards the charity, but none of the Indie Bookstore sales did. I didn’t ask the authors for a commission on their sales or to donate any of their proceeds to the charity. So this was another way the con was able to raise money for Child’s Play.

The problem I’m now facing is what do I do? Do I simply say the dual options will always be there? Get rid of the indie bookstore and simply rely on a bookseller? Or go strictly indie and do the whole shebang myself?

I love the idea of the indie bookstore, and would like to continue it; but to take on the task of being the only bookseller at the con would add a whole level of planning, and would require a lot more of the authors.

For one, Rust City does not have the means to order all of the authors books and have them available. This means that each author, whether they are traditionally published or not, would have to bring their own books to the event. For the local authors, this should not be too much of an issue; for an author who has to fly in, bringing books on a plane sucks (ugh! weight limits), so it becomes an issue.

Additionally, with the bookseller no longer being present (and having a portion of their proceeds go towards our charity), do I now ask the authors to donate a certain percentage of their proceeds (a commission if you will)? Do I charge them a flat fee to include their books, individually or all inclusive?

The indie bookstore is going to happen next year – I love the idea too much not to bring it back – and the volunteers and I are already working on making it better. The real question is – do I bring back a bookseller?

A lot of this has been me talking through my thoughts, but Rome wasn’t built in a day nor was it done by a single person. I’m very much behind the idea of “it takes a village”, so I want to throw this out there – what do you guys think?

Authors: would you be opposed to having to bring your own books? Being charged either a flat fee or a commission as a donation to the charity? If there is a charge, whether it’s a fee or a percentage, what would be a good number? Would that deter you from attending Rust City in the future?

Readers: is the idea of having two bookstores really that bad? Did it turn you off from purchasing a book from a newly discovered author because it could not be found in one place?

Is there anything I haven’t considered? Am I missing a vital piece of information that would mute this entire issue?

The #RustCity16 Free Little Library

For those who were unable to attend #RustCity16, or had just come for the signing, here is the Free Little Library that was filled during the event.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I LOVE the back.

I’m still working on a location (city bureaucracy is holding that up), but as soon as I have one, I’ll let everyone know.

RustCity16.FLL.Front RustCity16.FLL.Back