Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Guest post with Chloe Neill and Giveaway!

Hi, everyone! As you may have guessed, my Chicagoland Vampires series is set in . . . yep, Chicago. Yesterday, I launched the first book in my new young adult series, Firespell.

Maybe not surprisingly, our new heroines, Lily and Scout, are also living large in Chicago. I'm a big fan of the city--from the history, to the architecture, to the food. The city has so many interesting things to offer, that I thought I'd put together some interesting facts and parts of the city that are featured in my novels.

1. The Loop / Streeterville: When most folks think of Chicago, they think about downtown highrises and views of Lake Michigan. Lots of events in the Chicagoland Vampires novels and the
Dark Elite novels take place in this central part of downtown Chicago. This also where St. Sophia's, the school in the Dark Elite, were located. Merit's father's business,

CHICAGO FACT: The Great Chicago Fire started at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, 1871.

2. Wrigley Field: Wrigley Field is the home of the Chicago Cubs, Merit's favorite baseball team.

CHICAGO FACT: Wrigley Field was built in 1914.

3. Hyde Park: Hyde Park is a Chicago neighborhood on the South Side of the city. It's home to the University of Chicago, where Merit attended graduate school, and it's also the location of Cadogan House, Merit's House of vampires.

4. U.S. Soccer House: The architecture of Cadogan House is modeled after Chicago's Kimball House mansion, currently the U.S. Soccer House.

CHICAGO FACT: Chicago's Prairie Avenue neighborhood was the home of many Chicago business moguls (and their mansions) in the late Nineteenth Century.

5. Buckingham Fountain: At the end of Friday Night Bites, the second Chicagoland Vampires book, Merit heads to Buckingham Fountain for a meeting with . . . an anonymous someone. :)

CHICAGO FACT: Buckingham Fountain was designed to resemble a fountain as Versailles palace in France.

6. Food: You can't beat Chicago for food variety, from deep dish pizza, to Chicago-style "red hot" hot dogs, to midwestern beef, to barbeque. Check out the Serious Eats Chicago Guide for lots of suggestions. Merit LOVES food, and talks about it constantly. Lily is less enthralled, and she's a vegetarian.

CHICAGO FACT: A "Chicago style" hot dog comes with relish, sport peppers, mustard, onion, celery salt and tomatoes and is served on a poppy seed bun.

I hope these ideas give you some interesting starting places for your dive into Chicago's history and culture. Have fun!

Thank you Chloe for sharing more cool aspects of Chicago! Make sure you check out my review below of her awesome YA novel Firespell.

Chloe has offered up an awesome Chicagoland Vampires "New Initiate" kit to one reader!

What does it include?
Cadogan House Visitor's Pass; pen; bumper sticker; Cadogan House bookmark; Chicago Travel Guide; and a few more goodies.

1. Contest will end Friday, January 22nd at 11:59 CST time.
2. Open Internationally
3. Fill out the form below to enter.


  1. I went on a business trip to Chicago a while back and fell in love! It was definately a beautiful place.

  2. I JUST went to Chicago for winter break and it was horribly boring because we hadn't planned very well, but thanks for info! I'll have loads of fun next time :D
    Great giveaway!

  3. I always wondered what a "Chicago style hotdog" entailed lol. Sounds like too much for me!

    Great post!

  4. I spent one gorgeous day in Chicago two summers ago and I want to go back!!!

  5. I'm located just 2 hours away from Chicago and I do have to agree that Chicago is just captivating!!
    I hope to go there on a day trip sometime this year :)

  6. I've only been to Chicago once but I really loved it there! Thanks for all the info :)

  7. I'm orig from Chgo and it was fun to read those facts, lol. I remember when my friend ordered ketchup on her hotdog, the look of the peoples faces were great, she never asked again, brought her own. ;)

  8. I bet these are awesome. I went to Chicago as a kid and loved it.

  9. I've read the 1st in this series, and it was a lot of fun. I need to get around to #2. Also, I just ordered Firespell, which can't get here fast enough!

  10. I love the Chicagoland Vampires one of my favorites can't wait for hard bitten in May!


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