Holiday Sale!

15327252_1393851757306226_5354529373215996770_n.jpgHoliday shopping announcement! So, as many of you know I was recently at a Comiccon where I was selling and signing books. A lot of readers were bummed they couldn’t attend. Well, I came home with some overstock! I have 3 full sets of the Elemental Series (now down to 2 sets), 10 full sets of the Ash and Ruin Trilogy (now down to 9 sets), and quite a few copies of the first books in all three series, Earth, World of Ash, and Wytchcraft. I don’t have any full sets of the Matilda Kavanagh Novels.

If you would like any of these books, I’m offering them at Con prices. So Wytchcraft and WOA are $9 each and Earth is $8. The full Elemental Series set is $35 and the full Ash and Ruin Trilogy is $25. Shipping is $3 for 1-2 books and $5 for 3-5 books and $8 for 6-10+ books. I will sign and personalize all the books, you just let me know what name to make them out to and don’t be surprised if there are some pieces of swag thrown in.

 

The catch: You must put in your order by 12/15. That’ll give me enough time to get the books in the mail so you can have them by the holidays (whichever you celebrate).

If you’re interested just email me at shaunagranger82 @ gmail dot com. Place “Holiday Order” in the subject line, then just tell me which book(s) you would like, who to make them out to, and your mailing address. I will be sending out PayPal invoices for the total, so let me know if you need the invoice sent to a different email address.

Books make fantastic gifts; they’re unique and easy to wrap, so feel free to put in an order for yourself and others to get your shopping done! And don’t forget: you can gift ebooks to people. So if you’re in a bind on budget or ideas, ebooks are an affordable option and something that is as fast as an email so you won’t look like you forgot to send a gift to someone!

I am going to send the first batch of invoices out tonight to get the first orders in the mail Friday/Saturday. But if you email after that, it’s fine, you’ll just be in the second batch.

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Thoughts on Exhibiting at a Con as a Woman

This past weekend I was exhibiting at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comiccon (AKA ComiKaze). This is only my second con and was my first big con.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about how women are treated at cons, whether as a cosplayer, a panel participant, or just an attendee. Sometimes you get harassed–verbally or physically–as a cosplayer because, to some men, a costume gives them permission to ignore societal norms and stop treating you like a person. Sometimes you get talked over because obviously a man understands the subject matter better than you do in your tiny woman brain. And sometimes guys are just jerks and you get treated like shit so things like The Backup Ribbon Project has to be created.

We all get this. We get it because it’s really not all that different from our day-to-day lives except maybe we’re in a costume this time, or our harassers are.

But today I’m gonna talk about having a table at a con as an artist and the bullshit I had to smile through. These were mostly microaggressions, so I’m sure some will dismiss them, but I think they’re indicative of the crap we are trained to put up with because it’s easier to just smile and avoid rather than confront. And, who knows? Maybe a guy will read this and see himself in these douchebags and maybe he’ll try to change. That’s all we can hope for, right? A little bit of change.

So, if you’re reading this, you probably know who I am and know that I’m a writer. If you’re here because you saw this linked on Twitter or somewhere and don’t know who I am, well, I’m a writer. I have three series out under this name, all various shades of Fantasy.

I am very lucky to have a supportive husband who will go with me to conventions to help me man the table, move the heavy boxes, share the long car rides, watch the table to let me take much-needed breaks. But that’s all he is at these things: my helper. My husband is not a writer or an artist (though he his a martial artist, that doesn’t apply here). He wears shirts that promote my books and website, he passes out business cards for me, he supports me.

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But guess what reader? 7-8 men out of 10 who approach my table automatically assume he’s the writer/artist at the table. Now. I know what you’re thinking, “Shauna, that’s an honest mistake.” So let me further explain.

Behind my table are two huge stand-up banners that have “SHAUNA GRANGER” written across their tops. Affixed to the front of my table is another banner that says, you guessed it, “SHAUNA GRANGER” in bold white lettering against black.

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Now, fine, maybe their eyes miss the last ‘a’ in my first name and they think it says “SHAUN” but give me a second. Behind the table are two chairs. I sit in one, dead center of my table with a clear space in front of me for signing books. My husband sits in the other, off to the side, and slightly behind me.

And, I’m not counting the people who also looked at my signs before making eye contact and asked, “So, who’s the writer?” Because, yeah, there’s a chance we’re just manning the table. No. I’m talking about the men who would look at my banners, glance at my books, then look right at my husband, never at me, and say, “So, you’re the writer?”

Now, here’s another funny thing, reader. People who assumed I was the writer, or who didn’t assume either of us was the writer, would smile at me when they realized it was me. They would ask me about the books and nod and listen. When they bought books and I offered to sign them, they’d light up and say, “Yes, please!” The guys who assumed the writer was my husband? Would then lose their smile, lift their eyebrows, and then very quickly leave the table when my husband would direct them to me, the writer.

What the fuck guys? What the actual fuck?

This happened a lot. A lot.

At one point my husband looked at me and said, “Wow  they really do just assume it’s me, don’t they? Just because I’m the guy at the table. What bullshit.”

Another thing that happened that really tested my patience were the guys who made fun of my books or my very presence at the con as a novelist, not a comic book artist.

Yeah, that’s right. You know these guys, the ones that think it’s funny to tease you about who you are or what you’re doing. I’ll give you an example of a conversation I had with a guy who was probably ten years younger than me and had absolutely no intention of ever buying my books.

Guy: So, I imagine it’s pretty hard to be a novel writer at a comic book convention.

Me: No, not really.

Guy: Really?

Me: Really. I have a different product, so it stands out.

Guy: People actually buy your books?

Me: Yes.

Guy: Do you sell a lot?

Me: I do alright.

Guy: *smirks* Right.

Me: Well, when people do buy, they buy whole series.

Guy: Right because they can’t buy them anywhere else.

Me: No. My books are available at all retailers.

Guy: Really. (no, not a question)

Me: *strained smile*

Guy: So. Tell me about this series. *points at Elemental Series*

Me: *Give brief explanation because it’s 5 books*

Guy: The Elemental Series.

Me: Yes. *Starts to explain what “elemental” means*

Guy: *cuts me off* So, Potassium, Magnesium…? *Stupid asshole smile*

Me: Yeah, alright.

Guy: So what’s the story about?

Me: I just told you.

Guy: No but what’s it about.

Me: Each book?

Guy: Yes.

Me: *starts to explain book one*

Guy: *cuts me off* Do people ever come back the next day and tell you they liked your books?

Me: The very next day? No, I don’t expect people to read a whole novel series in less than 24 hours.

Guy: So they don’t.

Me: They usually find me online later.

Guy: Online. Right. *walks away*

Yeah. Bullshit like that happens to us all the time. See, I consider everyone who comes to my table as a potential new reader. Even if they start off as a jerk, I am in sales mode so I don’t treat them like jerks, even if they deserve it. But if you’re never going to be interested in something a woman has created or if you’re coming up just to be a total asshole, don’t waste our time. Move along and find a table only manned by men. Only go to a table where you might spend money, not just to make yourself feel like a big man because you’re not. You’re a tiny man.

Guys, don’t be these guys. Because, honestly, we only have so much patience and you might be the one we lose it on.

ETA: The guys who would wait to approach until after my husband would leave the table. I’d see them lingering, their eyes glancing in my direction, not really talking to anyone at any other table, and then my husband would leave for a minute and the lingerers would swoop in to talk to me. It was creepy and they never bought books.

ETA 2: The asshats who tell you to smile. I have been told to smile by men my whole life. My whole life. I don’t stand around or walk around like a grinning idiot. How weird would that be really?! But men would come up to my table, from the opposite direction as the one I was looking and would say shit like, “You’re supposed to smile when a customer comes up.” Like, bro, I wasn’t looking in your direction, but thanks for the advice.

Hot Paranormal Nights Blog Hop

Woman vampire bite

Hello everyone and welcome! I’m very excited to participate in this blog hop! Today I’m offering an excerpt from the 7acef-aircenteredsecond book in my Elemental Series: Air. Leave a comment below for your chance to win a free ebook copy of Air! And be sure to check out all the other awesome blogs participating in this hop!

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The day had been stolen from us and, with a chill in the air, we realized the sun was sinking below the horizon, casting long shadows through the orchard beyond my window. Jodi and Steven climbed down the tree, deciding to walk home and leave Jensen and me alone. I needed warm comfort that went beyond what friends alone could offer with just platonic affection. I needed heat and to feel grateful to be alive.

As soon as the trapdoor was shut behind them, Jensen reached out and carefully gathered me into his arms and pulled me into his lap. It was awkward for me at first, being cradled in his crossed legs like a child in a parent’s lap. Bracing myself on his shoulders, I pulled myself up enough to wrap my legs around his waist and sit in his lap, facing him.

I laid my hands on the swell of his chest and looked into his blue, blue eyes. His fingers massaged the small of my back, careful of the bruise on one side. I breathed in the scent of him, the wonderful combination of musk, cinnamon, and something sweet I could never figure out the name of.

“I know you said dating one of you means dating all of you, but I’m glad I only get to do this with you,” Jensen whispered into my hair, breathing against my ear, sending chills up my back, over my arms and out my fingertips, making tiny sparks of light flicker between our bodies. This might not be a committed, full-blown relationship, but we were the only people we were intimate with. And thank goodness, because I don’t think I could’ve shared.

“Jensen, I’m not sure we should,” I whispered, pushing on his chest to distance myself from him, if even only a couple of inches.

“Shay, we’ve talked about this,” he said, leaning toward my neck again. “I know we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend. You’re not taking advantage of me,” his breath was hot against my skin, making me shiver again.

He chuckled quietly and lowered his lips to my collarbone, kissing lightly. I tilted my chin up and felt the shift in energy around us; it was suddenly alive and swirling, playing with the locks of my hair, caressing my skin just as he laid feather light kisses on my shoulder and neck. I felt the sap trapped beneath the bark of the tree that broke the line of the walls run faster, in time with my pulse, as if the faster and hotter my blood ran, so did the life in the tree.

I felt a warm summer breeze come to life outside and rush in around us, heavy with the scents of grass, salt, and moist earth. I caught my breath just as Jensen’s teeth found the muscle in my neck and bit down, just hard enough, and the wind paused in time with me. When I exhaled, the wind rushed around us again. My skin was alive with nerves and energy waiting to be released. Jensen’s fingers pressed harder into my back, as if he would claw into my skin and I would have welcomed it. My back arched, pressing me against him, and I felt him catch his breath, his chest trembling under the pressure of my fingers as I clung to him. My thighs tightened around his waist, bringing a small sound from his parted lips. I felt his body swelling in answer to my body pressing against him.

He turned his face up to mine and I found his lips, pressing them gently into a kiss that grew almost immediately into something fiercer, almost desperate, as if the very air we breathed was locked in the other’s mouth. The energy around me built subtly and I felt it press against us. One of his hands slid up my back, tracing a tingling line of power dancing on my skin, until he found the back of my head and twined his fingers into the richness of my hair. He held it tightly against the base of my skull, just this side of painful, causing me to whimper against his mouth.

The energy that was building around us was almost too much for me to ignore as it became like a second pressure on my body, separate from his arms and chest, making it difficult to breathe. I broke from our kiss, gasping in a deep breath. Before I could exhale, I was suddenly moving, Jensen lifting me and turning our bodies until I was pressed into the floor with the weight of him above me.

***

Check out the other blogs participating!

(click the button below)

Woman vampire bite

Photo Tour Week Five: Spirit

Well, here we are, the final post of the series. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a peek into the Elemental Series. Today’s post is the last stop, featuring photos of places featured in Spirit!

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IF YOU HAVE NOT READ FIRE AND SPIRIT YET, BE FAIR WARNED: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Okay? Good? Everyone still here not afraid of the spoilers? You sure? Good. Let’s continue.

In the beginning of the book we’re at Shayna’s memorial service. A couple of weeks ago we visited this are when I showed you all the pictures of Water, but let’s see the beautiful, fitting place once more.

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From there, Shayna travels as a wraith, trying to figure out just what the hell she should do. She decides to try to make contact with Steven, who is at his boyfriend’s apartment. Before successfully making it to Anthony’s home, Shay is drawn to a park across the street, which turns out to be Cemetery Park.

This is a real place in Ventura. For decades it was solely a cemetery, then in the ’70’s the city turned it into a dog park. It’s very beautiful, but creepy because a few graves remain. You could be strolling along, on the green grass and under the Willow trees and then you’ll stumble across a grave marker.

Cemetary park veiws

 

Isn’t that beautiful? I know, right? And then you’ll find these:

graves

 

When you first walk up to then entrance of the park, this is what it looks like:

Cemetary Park

 

It’s lovely and tragic all at once, kind of fitting, I hope.

Anthony’s apartment building isn’t quite as beautiful, but at least he has the beautiful views of the park.

Anthony's apartment building

 

Now, I warned you all that this would be a short post because so much of this book takes place in the Otherworld, in the land of the dead and the Sluagh. But when I was leaving The Cross, after taking pictures for the Fire post, I saw this and it struck me as the perfect depiction of the land that Shay found herself in.

Underworld

 

So, there you have it! Five weeks of pictures and now, should you have the urge, when you re-read the series, you might have a deeper connection with the books!

I hope you all enjoyed this, I know I did!

Photo tour week 4: Fire

Hello again! I hope you all are enjoying your little trip through my fair city! Today, we’re taking a turn for the darker side of the series. Today I will show you the places that exist in the fourth book: Fire. (Just click on the pictures to see enlarged versions.)

In the beginning, Shay is atop a hill, overlooking Ventura. She’s been meditating and desperately trying to glean any energy she can from the hillside. Atop this hill is a massive cross that marks the area where Spanish Monks used to reside. Here is that hill and the view.

You can see, people were getting married there that day. What a lovely place for a wedding.

And this is the view from the top of the hill:
Kind of appropriate that there was so much June Gloom that day. Since the book takes place in the winter, you get a better sense of what it should look like in the book

 A few more pretty views of the hill:
I wanted to give you some awesome shots of the coastline where Shayna tests out her new-found flying abilities to help in the car crash, but alas, there was so much construction going on, none of the shots were usable.
But, moving right along! We get to see the beautiful Majestic Ventura Theater:
The view from the balcony (I’m sure we all liked the balcony scene 😉 ):
Photo credit: gothers.com
And finally, the entrance to The Tea Gardens. This is the place where I set the New Years Even scene and subsequently the fiery end of the book.

                         

 
Five years ago there actually was a horrible, horrible fire in this area. College kids had broken into the Tea Gardens (so named because this once belonged to Charlie Chaplan and he would take his tea in this part of the property), had a party and a fire and did not properly extinguish their fire before they left. A few days later, wind stirred the embers and set a catastrophic fire, burning 100 homes and injuring two people. It was heartbreaking. Because of my father’s business (construction), we were very familiar with this area and knew many of the people effected. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to see it doing so well now.

Photo tour week three: Water

Welcome to the third installment of our photo tour! This week: Water – Book Two in the Elemental Series. This will probably be one of the shorter posts since most of the book’s major locations were underwater, but hopefully I’ve caught enough shots to make it entertaining for you.

In the very beginning we are brought on a dawn patrol surf session with Shayna at her favorite break: Surfers’ Point

 

Dawn at the beach is a wondrous, beautiful thing.

 

 (click the image to see a larger version)

 

Each of these were taken at Surfers’ Point and gives you an idea of the changing moods of our beach.

Later, Shayna chases down a woman, frantically looking for her lost child. Little does Shay realize, the area known as “River Mouth” would be where she spend the majority of her time on her summer break.

River Mouth, where fresh water meets the sea.

And later we would see the beautiful beaches of Emma Wood. Emma has a special place in my heart because that was where my dad taught me how to boogie board and was one of the first places I went surfing with my husband. And if you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods, Emma is one of the nicest spots to watch the sunset.

So many beautiful beaches in our county, I just wish we were lucky enough to get seashells :). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this installment!

Photo Tour for Air: Book Two in the Elemental Series

Welcome to week two of our photo tour! Today I’m featuring the real life locations that inspired many of the places in Air: Book Two.

First up the shopping center with the movie theater and cafe where we first meet Jeremy and his invisible friends.
Then of course we have our favorite bookstore…
Which turns into a rather scary place when an unstable Jeremy looses his cool…
And then flees by jumping off the exterior balcony.
Unfortunately a lot of the other locales were made up. Much of what happened in this book were in private homes and then of course, in the Shide. None of which I could photograph.