Let the Good Times Roll

Iced Release Bash in New Orleans 2012

You want to know the recipe for the most fun you've ever had? Take one part highly anticipated continuation of an amazing book series, add one part hordes of like-minded Moning Maniacs, stir in one or two (or four hundred) good friends, and pour it all over New Orleans.

Honorary Wench, Jennifer, and I spent last weekend in New Orleans with Karen Marie Moning, Phil Gigante, Eric Etebari, and a few hundred Fever fans. This being the first trip to NOLA for both of us, we tried to see and do everything, while still making time for all of the fun planned by the KMM gang. The short version: we had an absolute blast. And you all should come with us next time. We'll all party with the Maniacs, Wench-style!

For a slightly longer version, here's a recap of our ridiculously fun NOLA-Iced weekend...

The first official KMM event was scheduled for Sunday morning, so we arrived on Saturday morning, prepared to settle in and get acquainted with NOLA before the Maniac fun began. We couldn't check into our room right away, so we stowed our bags, made a reservation to tour St. Loius Cemetery No.1 in a couple of hours, and went in search of food. After getting lucky with lunch by stumbling into Serio's Mike Po-Boys (featured on Food Network!) for a Muffuletta, we strolled to our tour meeting place, then headed toward the cemetery. It's a fascinating tour, which we highly recommend.

Marie Laveau's tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
While the historical overview of New Orleans was fascinating, the Saucy Wenches in us were most excited to visit the tomb of Marie Laveau. If you are a fan of the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost (and if you aren't, what are you waiting for???), you will recall that Bones has known Marie/Majestic for years, and that Cat meets her at this very spot. To say that we were excited to be somewhere Bones has been is putting it mildly.

Team Seven!
Next up was the scavenger hunt through the French Quarter on Sunday morning. We finished second, but never did find the elusive Phil and Eric, so we did not place. We did have fun, though, running through the French Quarter, disturbing the local businesses, and nearly getting hit by cars. Jennifer and I really had no idea what was going on, but we had fun anyway. My favorite part was that our Wench Zee helped us out by answering a Fever trivia question via Facebook. Even though she was in Dubai, checking her book for the answer, it felt like she was there with us! You gotta love that!

Following our race through the French Quarter, we decided to take it easy, since we were planning to party with the Maniacs at the Iced Bash that night. So we rode the historic St. Charles Streetcar to the end, had our first Po-Boys of the trip at Cooter Brown's (I couldn't leave out that detail!), then headed back to start getting ready to party, Maniac-style!

I don't have a lot of words for the Bash, because it was just so fecking much fun! So here's a little picture walk through the party:

All fancied up and ready to party!
Mingling with Karen Moning. She is fabulous!
Jennifer and Eric Etebari. What?

A rockin' party!

Two happy party girls

It WAS Barrons's birthday party!

Jennifer and Phil Gigante

Photo Op with Eric Etebari

With our new friend, Nihita

The Bash was fantastic, and I am so looking forward to partying with more of our Wenches next time! Start planning now, chicas! You don't want to miss it.

Does one of us look a little green? Hmmm
Monday morning was "Fun with Phil and Eric" hour. Phil is Phil Gigante, the voice talent who brought Jericho Barrons to life in the last two Fever audiobooks (and Ryo and his men in the Iced audiobooks). Eric is Eric Etebari, an actor whose portrayal of Ian Nottingham in the TV series Witchblade helps many Moning Maniacs visualize Barrons. Jennifer had been looking forward to the event, even though we weren't sure exactly what "fun" would entail. It ended up being a discussion of their most recent projects, a bit of a Q&A, and a re-enactment of Barrons's return in the middle of Shadowfever.

Eric graciously acted as Barrons, while Mac was played by a lucky Maniac. The scene was a confusing mix of hot and hilarious, but it was all entertaining. Phil and Eric are so funny. They are totally worth the price of admission to Fun hour! :)

After "Fun" it was time for a stroll through the French Market, beignets at Cafe DuMonde (I don't care if it's über-touristy — they are so yummy!), and a walk by the Mississippi. Finally it was time to get in line for the reason we all gathered in New Orleans: the Iced book signing!

We got in line at 3:00 for the 4:00 signing. We wanted to be sure we were a little early because we had a date with some ghosts and vampires at 8:00. If you ever plan to go to a KMM signing, know that there will be a lot of fans waiting to meet her. A lot. Everyone was wonderful and things moved as quickly as possible, but it still took time. Another tip when preparing for a KMM book signing: just beignets for lunch is not a good idea. Trust us.

We had our books in hand by 5:30. Aren't they pretty? I remember seeing the cover in the spring and gasping at how gorgeous it is. It's even prettier in person.

It was finally our turn to meet Karen Moning, and she is absolutely as lovely as can be! We told her about our amazing friends that we bonded with over her wonderful books. She said that is such an honor, and she hears similar stories all the time. She believes when you bond over books you connect with people who share similar world-views. I couldn't agree more, and am grateful every day that her books brought all of the Saucy Wenches together!

This is the reason to attend a KMM signing in person. You can buy a signed copy of her book from other sources, but it won't have her customized, personal (awesome!) touch. Did I mention how fantabulous Ms. Moning is???

After the signing we tracked down food (remember, no beignets for lunch!), then went on a ghost and vampire tour with a group of Moning Maniacs. It was interesting and fun. Some of the stories will stay with me forever, I'm sure.

Tuesday morning was bittersweet, as there was only one last event before we headed home: a discussion with KMM. Again, she was just delightful. She shared a lot of good Fever information, so look for a brief post tomorrow about her Q&A answers.

One last trip through the French Quarter took us to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shoppe, a very haunted, must-stop in NOLA and the oldest, continuously-operational bar in the United States.

Our very last stop was the Lalaurie Mansion, once the location of unimaginable horrors. The building is unmarked, without even a street number. Why would we seek out this location, you ask? Because Bones was here, of course. We might have tried to find his house, too. Yes, we know he's fictional, but we love him that much anyway.

We made it home, exhausted but filled with fun, funny, amazing memories to last us until the next Moning Maniac gathering. Or maybe a Wench gathering. That would be crazy fun, too! The next book, most likely, won't come out until 2014, so plenty of time to save and plan! Hope to see you all there!


  1. SOOOO AWESOME!!! I would have loved to watched that re-enactment scene and I love how you made time to stalk Bones while you were there :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hahaha! I forgot to share our Quotes of the Day for each day of the trip. Saturday's quote was, "it's not stalking, it's love." That wasn't in reference to Bones, but it is certainly apt! Thank you for reading!

  2. SO JEALOUS! I am SO working on making it next time!

  3. Me too! I wanted so badly to go with you guys, but stupid flights were too expensive! But, I am going to do my damnedest to make it next time.

  4. AWESOME! so sorry I couldn't come this time,hopefully next time I will.Thanks for sharing your experience and photos.

  5. You trip sounds amazing. I am so jealous and so happy. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. GREAT POST - So glad you both had such a good time - wish I'd been there!!!

  7. You had me at Eric Etebari! I wish so much I could have been there with y'all, but thanks for letting us enjoy it vicariously through your great post! I am totally on board for the next one and hope to see you all there!

  8. That really sounds like a fun, once-in-a-lifetime trip! Of course it won't be because we're all going next time, right? :-) I REALLY love what KMM wrote in the books!

  9. I'm so glad you and Jennifer were able to go. NOLA is a fascinating city. I hope I get to go next time.

  10. I'm so jealous and happy for you, guys! Thanks for sharing. It feels like I've been there with you, too.

  11. It sounds wonderful, and nonstop!! I love that Zee was able to help with the scavenger hunt! I don't care if Cafe du Monde is touristy. The beignets are the best in the world, my favorite coffee cup is from there, and it's THE best place to people watch.

    (I love my coffee cup so much that when it broke I went online and ordered another one!)


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