Keri Arthur and Tracey O’Hara book signing at Galaxy

Keri Arthur and Tracey O'Hara book signing at Galaxy
Keri Arthur (left) and Tracey O'Hara

For the first time that I can remember, Galaxy had TWO paranormal authors in to sign books. And they brought a New York agent. And a soon-to-be-published debut author. And a partridge in a pear tree. OK, maybe not that last one.

The gathering at Galaxy was nice and informal, so we got to spend some time chatting with Keri Arthur and Tracey O’Hara while they signed our books.

The cover for the second book in Tracey’s Dark Brethren series, Death’s Sweet Embrace, has been redone and I think it looks better this way. Its style is more like the Night’s Cold Kiss cover, so I think the new cover ties the books together as a series better than two differently styled covers.

She was also happy to see her name on someone else’s book. She was asked to read Merrie Destefano’s Afterlife (release date September 28) and gave it a raving endorsement, which just happens to appear at the bottom of the front cover. (Kat knows first-hand how cool that is.) Afterlife may be that rarest of commodities: a stand alone paranormal.

Since I got my copy of Night’s Cold Kiss signed last time Tracey came to Galaxy, I handed her the hard copy of her short story Dante Rising – The Birth of a Venator that she passed around to us that night. After she signed it for me, she showed it off to Keri and Jen, her agent.

Dante Rising was originally the prologue for Night’s Cold Kiss, but Jen felt that the book was more powerful without it and Tracey agreed. She is planning to do another 2000-or-so-word short story prologue for Death’s Sweet Embrace, which will also be available on her website. If you’re on Twitter, follow @traceyohara and she’ll tweet when it’s ready.

We at Book Thingo are involved in an ongoing bling-off with Tracey and Nalini Singh and anyone else who gets in on the action. Last time I wore understated gold, but decided to step it up for the RWA awards dinner on Saturday and tonight I gave Tracey a sneak preview of one piece of bling I’ll be wearing. Nothing much, just a ring with a little bling encrusted rose wide enough to cover three fingers. I always think less is more.

Tracey really, really likes dragons and has about four of them inked on her. Near her left collarbone, she has the yin-yang dragon symbol that she wrote into Night’s Cold Kiss, with a fuzzy, faded dragon on her shoulder and two colour dragons on her leg. I’m hoping the series takes off in the US because readers there are more likely to get double-bow-and-arrow or lightning bolts a la Dark-Hunter, or Black Daggers or words in the Old Language. Tracey would be happy to start a trend.

Kissing Sin (Riley Jenson Guardian, Book 2)Full Moon Rising (Riley Jenson Guardian, Book 1)I remember from a panel session she was in during ARRC09, that a scene from Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen series came to her in a dream. Tonight she told me that it was the opening scene from the second book in the series, Kissing Sin.

The decision of which book to read next from my TBR is usually a hard one, but tonight’s signing was the perfect excuse to finally get into Full Moon Rising, which I actually finished before Keri signed it for me, along with my new copy of Kissing Sin. I’m glad the Riley Jensen series is finished so that I can read them at my own pace without having to wait for the next one.

Sofia from Galaxy asked Keri to sign a book for a customer who wasn’t able to make it to the signing but had ordered her book. She also signed and endorsed a book by James Herbert, who she thinks is ‘absolutely brilliant’. Keri asked Sofia, ‘What do you want me to say? You have great taste?’

‘Say anything you want. Draw a picture. A cat’s bum, a panda, anything you want.’ Yep, Keri Arthur signed a book written by another author with her artistic impression of a feline’s back view! My books just had the smiley fang face.

This is the first time I’ve spent any amount of time with Keri and she has a very cheeky, Aussie sense of humour. Being a Melbournian, she had a gratuitous dig at Sydney. I can’t remember what she says Melbourne has that we don’t (it couldn’t have been important), but I’ll tell you what she meant to say: Cold winter mornings followed by summer heat with a chance of rain, forcing everyone to carry around more layers than they’ll need.

Jen has a few Australian clients and is impressed with the writing we produce. She used to be a psychotherapist before she became an agent and has experience with schizophrenics. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. She sometimes has to help her clients deal with combinations of anxiety and obsessiveness.

I heard about almost-debut author MJ Scott from a tweet before the signing. Her book Shadow Kin, the first in a gaslight (not-quite-steampunk) urban fantasy trilogy, will be published in June 2011 by Ace/Roc.

We all hung around talking about chocolate, wine, dingoes, kangaroos, hair removal, flying business class and other sophisticated, adult topics until Galaxy closed. All in all, I think everyone had a good time.

The book signing was held at Galaxy Bookshop on Wednesday. Keri Arthur and Tracey O’Hara will also be at the ARRA Book Signing Event this evening at Coogee. The book signing is open to the public (free for ARRA members and $5 for non-members). Click here for details. All the regular Book Thingo bloggers will be there, so come and say hello!

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Decadence's fascination with vampires can be blamed on Anne Rice and although she reads urban fantasy, historical romance, romantica and crime, her first and undying love is paranormal romance. She works in a bookstore and gets no sympathy for the sheer volume of work she brings home, not to mention the TBR mountain that will never be surmounted. Her guilty pleasures include (in no particular order) chocolate, pizza, sleeping in and Alexander Skarsgard and she is a final assessment away from holding a full pistol licence.