Written Revelry: Novel Strumpet’s Hot Mojave Knights 2013 Book Convention Recap! Vegas, Authors and Shenanigans Galore!

Back in October I got to attend the first ever “Hot Mojave Knights” book convention in Las Vegas, NV.  I really didn’t know what to expect, but some good blogger friends of mine – Kelly “DemonLover” and Heather “BookSavvyBabe” – were lending a helping hand for the inaugural year, so I thought I’d tag along for fun and support.  Shockingly I’ve never been to a full-on book convention before, mostly I go to larger cons where books will be or events at bookstores, so I was really looking forward to it.  And it was even better than I expected.

Compared to more established book conventions, I’m sure this was quite small, but I think that’s what made it even more fun.  The focus was Supernatural/Suspense/Fiction with a Romance/Erotica bent.  So right up my alley.  I left work on Thursday night to head over to Kelly’s where I met Heather for the first time (recently Kelly and Heather combined their blogs to make a super awesome one Got Fiction?).  We loaded up the SUV and headed out.  These ladies know how to do Vegas.  I haven’t been in years, so I was glad I was with pros.  They had a portable fridge with Jello shots.  No, I’m not kidding – amazing!

That night – once we rolled into Vegas around 1 a.m. – we went to a shop to find some last minute give-aways and costume pieces (there was a Masquerade slated for Saturday night).  Won’t say what kind of shop, but it’s Vegas and the books center on romance/erotica so I think you can figure that out ;D

After checking into a hotel for the night we crashed and woke up early on Friday so we could do some more shopping, grab lunch, then head over to the hotel the convention was located at.  Lunch was at the Hash House A Go-Go located in The Quad Resort (which used to be the Imperial Palace last time I went).  Not only were the portions ginormous, but they were delicious!  I got the Chicken and Waffles and Kelly and Heather each got a kind of omelette:

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After this feast, we took our to go boxes and headed to the convention hotel.

The convention was held at the Sunset Station hotel in Henderson, NV just a little outside main street Vegas.  I really liked this place, it wasn’t crazy or too smoky because being off the strip it wasn’t as packed.  The inside was nice, we met one of the “Knights” Kelley and Heather knew at the bar.  The bar had some amazing stained glass:

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Heather and Kelly

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My humble self 😀

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Kelly and Heather were going to be helping to check attendees in, and since I was just hanging out I volunteered as well.  I hope I didn’t mess things up too much 😀  Here’s a pic of some of the book posters just to give you guys an idea:

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After a majority of the people had arrived a few of us left to get changed for our special night out.  There were two choices for Friday night.  You could: A) Stay and attend a wine tasting and meet all the “Knights” so they could begin to try and win the ‘favors’ all the attendees were given or B) You could go to some “live” entertainment.

Here are some pics of the shenanigans for those who stayed.  The purpose of the lemon and cloves is that a Knight hands it to a Lady and if she picks the clove out with her hand, he kisses her hand.  If she picks it out with her teeth then he gives her a kiss on the cheek:

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For those of us who chose the other activity…I’ll just say it…we were shuttled to a strip club.  I thought it was going to be a male review, like Chippendales, but oh no.  Think “Magic Mike” but not as tame.  No pictures shall be shared, this was the quintessential “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”  😛  Here are the pics that could be released:

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Heather and Myself

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Kelly and Heather

Needless to say I don’t know what hit me that night and I think I’m still somewhat in a state of shock.  I will say that the experience helped me get a better idea for Jean-Claude’s clubs in the “Anita Blake Vampire Hunter” Series, I mean picturing those guys in this scenario….YOWZER!

Saturday

After the night of debauchery – this day was spent in panels.  My favorite!  First up was Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Panel:

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L – R : Deborah Coonts, Siobhan Miller, Cara Michaels, Silver James

Highlights:

  • D.C. – didn’t set out to write a mystery but did build the first book around a dead body – so was told she wrote a mystery
  • The panelists explained the difference between Mystery (don’t know who the killer is), Suspense (know who did it, but only affects a small group), Thriller (know who did it, affects are wide spread)
  • S.J. – used to be a technician, like CSI

Humor in Romance panel:

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L – R : Deborah Coonts, Natasha Dean, Lizzie T. Leaf

Highlights:

  • D.C. – wanted to write a humorous book in first person and quickly realized that was the hardest thing to do in literature.  Drama and Comedy are all in how you spin the situation.
  • N.D. – loves to people watch because at our core, humanity is funny. Background in psychology and went into the positive physical affects being happy has on your body.  So essentially authors who write humor are writing to make the readers healthy ;P
  • L.T. – Editors/Publishers will tell you it’s the hardest thing in the world to write humor and it has to be snarky, sarcastic and twisted to work

Scribe Speed Dating:

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Highlights:

  • First time I ever participated, was a lot of fun.
  • 3 minutes with each author
  • A little loud at times so had to strain to hear some of the authors
  • Love to do this again

Otherwordly Panel:

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L-R : Viola Grace, Melissa Mayhue, ML Guida, Cara Michaels, Silver James

Highlights:

  • VG – writes 5 short stories a month!
  • CM – be consistent in the rules of your world
  • All of the panel uses Scrivener except VG who relies on her editor who was a fan before working for her – “knows my stories better than I do”
  • VG – crafts stories around covers
  • VG – “Verbal Masturbation” you’re writing because you enjoy it and not because others will get pleasure out of it
  • MG – “interviews” her characters in order to learn their deepest darkest secrets as well as their surface traits
  • SJ – is a “puzzler” writer – she writes scenes and then fits them together

Into the Grey BDSM Event:

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L-R : Marla Monroe, Emerald, Starla Kaye – back of room Adam&Eve

Highlights:

  • Received handouts from Emerald and SK with terms and reading suggestions
  • MM – has been in the lifestyle (not currently)
  • E – writes erotica, a lot of research
  • SK – writes “domestic discipline” so not really BDSM or a very lite version.  Mostly husbands spanking their wives
  • MM – encourages people to do their research as books out now are giving young adults a very dangerous idea of what BDSM is.  Visit fetlife.com, go to Munches – lunches in public places with people who are in the lifestyle
  • MM – described different whips and their “feel” : suede – thump, vinyl – a good sting, rope – mostly for a little feeling unless knotted at end and that can give a really good sting.
  • MM – talked about aftercare and how important it is, which is something a lot of books now leave out

Nerf Jousting:

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The Knights had to do a little competition right?

Blogger Event:  

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L-R: Heather “Book-Saavy Babe”, Kelly “Got Fiction”, and the ladies of “Vampires, Werewolves and Fairies, OH MY!” blog

This was a fun panel because it gave authors and other people a chance to ask bloggers why we do this.  I was surprised to hear that a lot of people think we make money off of this, but that is a big fat NO.  We blog because we love it, not because we get paid (I mean maybe some but that’s like the 1%).

After a day of panels, we headed back to the hotel room to get ready for that evening’s festivities:

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Oops, did I catch them before they were completely ready?  Hee hee…

Masquerade

It’d be too hard to really tell you about everything during the Masquerade.  I’ll try to sum it up as best I can…

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Ladies of “Got Fiction?” (and Mikethefanboy) are ready to partay!

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Author Silver James came as her character Sade Marquis from her Penumbra Paper series

Lovely costumes abounded and even the tables were festooned for the festivities

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Author Maureen O. Betita

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Kelly and Myself

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Shannan Albright, Heather and Kelly – can you tell we went with a theme between the three of us 😉

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Steampunk Brigade

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They had a raffle and I won a “basket”, in fact nearly our entire table won a basket…we rocked!

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Kelly was the master of ceremonies.  First up was a costume contest:

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Of course you can’t just win…you gotta work for it 😉

In order for to crown our Mojave Knight the contenders had to perform a few more “tasks”

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Like the dangerous task of thumb wrestling…

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or the arduous task of taking a lovely ladies garter off….

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But in the end there could only be one knight standing and he was crowned.

There was much rejoicing…then drinking and dancing.  There was a pajama after party hosted by Heather and Kelly with more drinking and some fun games – like a giant sleepover.  Needless to say I slept very well that night.

Sunday:

This day was about getting to go around and meet the featured authors and talk to them about their books and get your hands on some.  So that’s what I did:

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Silver James

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Melissa Mayhue

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Elaine Levine

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Maureen O. Betita

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Jade Lee

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Emerald

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Adrianna Kraft (which is a husband and wife team)

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Siobhan Muir

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Cara Michaels

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Kathryn Le Veque

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Lexi Ryan

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Lizze T. Leaf

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Shannon Albright

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Heather and Kelly giving their “Got Fiction?” swag bag to a lucky winner

And that was a wrap!  Overall – loved the intimacy of the event, where authors/readers/bloggers intermingle and attend each others panels, veil ripped away and a lot of insight.  Felt like panels were a lot more informative because it was so small and because mostly everyone there is involved in a way so the questions were thoughtful and insightful and not the usual dreaded Q&A questions you get at bigger events.  I’m so happy that they decided to have another one in September 2014 and not wait until Spring of 2015!

And because it’s me I have to give you a pic of my spoils of war:

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Thanks to everyone who helped make the inaugural Hot Mojave Knights a lot of fun and to ©Clary James Carey 2013 for letting me use her wonderful photographs.  If it doesn’t say “Mike the Fanboy” then they belong to Clary and she graciously allowed me to use them.

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