September 13, 2011


Up for grabs – 1 signed e-Book (in the format of your choice) of Cold in California by Deborah Riley-Magnus!

**Contest Rules and Information**

  • Complete the form below
  • Only 1 entry per person
  • Contest is open to residents of Canada, UK and US
  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59pm on September 17th, 2011  Contest Ended
  • Winner selected will be contacted by email and the desired e-format will be sent via the authors publisher

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Contest Winner: Penny Moore


Deborah Riley-Magnus is the author of the completely captivating, exceptionally well written urban fantasy, Cold in California.

Jag’s Full Review of Cold in California | Amy’s Mini Review of Cold in California


  • Cold in California
  • Monkey Jump (January 2012)

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Describe Cold in California for us in three words.

Three words? Three? Um… quirky, twisted, humorous.

Cold in California has a very unique spin on vampire mythology and supernatural beings. How did the storyline of your book come about? Do you remember what you were doing when the idea first came to you?

Exactly! I was in West Hollywood one afternoon, just leaving a client’s office when a Hindu gentleman in a brilliant orange robe stopped to chat with me (never happens in Pittsburgh!). When he walked away I noticed a dwarf across the street. This man was looking right and left and very suspicious and I watched him slink into the door of what appeared to be a deserted warehouse. And I thought, was that a troll? Are there trolls inside? Maybe other supernatural creatures? Vampires? Werewolves? Pixies? What are they doing in there? Maybe they’re all dead and trying to make their way to heaven and … there you have it. True story. By the time I drove the 405 back home, I knew the plot and started writing Cold in California.

Was Gabriel Strictland or any of the other characters in your novel based on anyone in real life, or were they characters of your own creation.

Every character in the book is completely original, but the odd thing is that they all came to me completely formed, with warts and personalities and their own unique emotional baggage.

Cold in California was so much fun to write because Gabriel knew who he was before I ever got my keyboard to him –  as did Crudo Cushman and Shirley the pixie and the evil warlock, Nathan Cook. I suppose lots of it is some deep rooted idea of people and their hidden elements, but almost every character showed their colors before they even told me their names.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing Cold in California? And when you were writing your book, did you write for an intended audience?

I honestly think the most challenging thing about writing Cold in California was facing the fact that I was about to write a vampire book. Up until that afternoon in West Hollywood, I was seriously focused on writing literary, but finding publication for a first time literary author is nearly impossible in the current publishing landscape. More than wallets are getting tight in the industry and I knew it was time to look at the market, see what people were reading and possibly write in those genres. Of course, I hated vampires and had no intention of writing a vampire story… until Gabriel Strickland introduced himself to my psyche and I realized the unfairness of the vampire’s very existence.

Face it, most vampires in fiction didn’t actually ask to become killers and bloodsuckers. It’s just not their fault! So why can’t they have redemption? Cool concept, right? But then I had to deal with the accepted mythology and consciously choose to ignore it. Vampires in my imagination are not damned. If they’ve at least tried to be decent beings, they are not condemned to hell just for being what they are. All I had to do was figure out how to create a purgatory for a twice-baked vampire, one conducive to living a good, clean after-after-life that could actually earn him a place in heaven. So, why not the warehouse? And I couldn’t make this too easy for him, right? So why not include other dead supernaturals, all with different agendas and intentions and social limitations? They all had to be good against their nature. Now it was getting interesting. When it was all said and done and edited, I’d written an urban fantasy about vampires and it didn’t hurt one bit! I like to say that Cold in California kicks vampire mythology right in the fangs, and that’s what I enjoyed most about writing it.

When can we expect to see the second book in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series? Do you have any other books in the works?

The second book in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series is entitled Monkey Jump and scheduled for release in January of 2012 through ireadiwrite Publishing, (I love my publisher!). Gabriel, Dori, Feever Clovely (a leprechaun introduced in the first book) and a few others go on a dangerous, inexplicable journey that teaches them a whole lot about why there’s no place like home. Monkey Jump is a little darker but still twisted with humor and crazy events and a few new characters for us to love.

I have a novella covering the backgrounds for some of the more interesting characters in the Twice-Baked Vampire Series – the other double-dead vampires, the gnomes, Sticky the Stick Man and of course Pete Maloney, all around good guy and dead werewolf. No title at this time, but a release date set for mid-February, 2012.

I also have a non-fiction scheduled for release in October of this year entitled Finding Author Success. Having spent over 20 years in the marketing, publicity and promotions industry before becoming a chef, I discovered that I have a lot to offer struggling authors trying to find sales success these days. It’s not easy, now that publishers can no longer carry the load for promoting authors and books like they used to. But it’s not that hard either if an author understands the tools and how to make them work for their particular book, genre and story. I’ve been teaching workshops, speaking, guest blogging and blogging on the subject at Writaholic for a long time now.

If you could have dinner with any one person, deceased or alive (or fictional!) who would you choose and why?

Prepare for whiplash … Nolan Ryan, a pitcher the likes of which we’ll not see again in our lifetime! A noble, honorable, spiritual and classy guy all the way around. Oh, and Russell Crowe. At the same, of course.

What was the last book you read and what book are you dying to read next?

The last book I read was Money Ball (yes, I’m a baseball fanatic, LOL) by Michael Lewis. The next one on my list is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Thanks so much for stopping by Deb, Jag and I just LOVED your book!!


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