Category Archives: Conventions

reader/fan conventions

BroadwayCon 2016 Recap

broadwayconI recently attended the first annual BroadwayCon (January 22-24, 2016) which pays homage to Broadway with panels, workshops, fan meetups, and performances. The days leading to this big event came with news of the actors and actresses who will perform during this big event. Then finally on Friday, the day was here.


8:30am I stood on line to register for BroadwayCon. Got my badge, my 21+ age bracelet and my goodie bag, I was hoping for at least a CD. (Note to Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime and Malice organizers, you have spoiled us with what you give in the goodie bag.)


The day started with a meet and greet but I was more excited to see the opening ceremony which started with a skit to the medley of “Good morning Baltimore” from the Broadway musical Hairspray, talking about the idea and creation of a BroadwayCon. It was a great skit with a lively tune that set us up for the rest of the weekend. At the end of this mini-presentation, everyone involved came back on stage for the Broadway salute with special appearances by Renée Elise Goldsberry, Tommy Tune, Lena Hall, and Ben Vereen. Because of other commitment, we saw a video message from Idina Menzel, James Snyder, and LaChanze who could not be here.

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Then what most of the audience was waiting for . . . “History is Happening In Manhattan: The Hamilton Panel” with cast and crew led by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Renée Elise Goldsberry. It was a conversation that was quite entertaining and engaging. Everyone talk about when they got the call to audition and/or they got the part. I think there was a Q&A, but not so sure. Regardless it was a fun hour with the cast and crew. Oh Lin-Manuel did an impromptu rap . . . he’s too darn good.


Next up was the panel “10,514,880 Minutes: How Do You Measure 20 Years of Rent?” and we all cheered with the cast and crew entered the stage to the well-known signature song of “Seasons of Love.” One by one we got to hear from them as they talked about what being in the production did for themselves. I was so hoping that they would have closed the panel talk “Seasons of Love.” In another impromptu action, one of the performers, Daphne Rubin-Vega, made a phone call to Jessie Martin who was in Vancouver, which was awesome.


Next up was “I Was a Teenage Diva” where they showed clips of Broadway stars early performances before they made it on Broadway. It was a fun hour trying to guess who they were.

The day ended for me after attending “The BroadwayCon Jukebox” where the audience voted on the songs the performers was going to sing and what a fun hour that was. There was one actress who sang hard rock – she had a voice on her. All of them were great.

On Saturday, the day started with attending “The BroadwayCon Feud” which is exactly what it is, a take-off of Family Feud and it was fun watching the Broadway stars answer the questions. Some questions were easy and some were tricky.

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Then I went to the “I Can Do That! Broadway Siblings” talk and then took a break before heading to the “Disney Singalong”


Then there was the blizzard that closed Broadway and the organizer came up with the “Broadway Party Line” where they cold-called many Broadway performers such as Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, Idina Menzel, Patti LuPone, Joel Grey, Audra McDonald, Harvey Fierstein, Betty Buckley, Laura Benanti, and others.


Did I tell you I ran into a cozy author at BroadwayCon? Yeah, how cool was that. We finally got a chance to chat while we both took a break. It was definitely a small world when I met her husband as he lived in the same neighborhood as I but on the opposite side.

At the end of the day there was “The First Annual BroadwayCon Cabaret” and it was a blast. Krystie Rodriguez entertained us and boy does she have a great voice. I didn’t stay till the end because my bedtime was 2 hours ago.


All in all, I had a great time. Would I do it again? Maybe, although I got money’s worth on day 1, ,so maybe a day pass is in order. We’ll see when BroadwayCon 2017 is confirmed with place and date.

Bouchercon Recap 2015


Bouchercon 2015: Murder Under The Oaks
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Date: October 8 – 11, 2015

Bouchercon is the world’s finest annual crime fiction event, bringing together more than 1,000 authors, fans, publishers, reviewers, booksellers, editors, and every other part of the community for a fantastic four-day event.

I love reader/fan conventions which are truly a godsend for book loves like me. From arriving in Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday to leaving Sunday morning, it’s been a whirlwind of non-stop activities (okay I did allow 5 hours for sleep) of hilarity, dining and plain old-fashioned fun at the 2015 Bouchercon. In addition to that, I am deeply honored that my blog, dru’s book musings, was nominated for a 2015 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work, but alas I did not win. Again, the honor was being nominated and I felt like a princess throughout the convention as everyone came up to greet me celebratory congratulations on the nomination.

Thanks to the many people who helped put this event together this year: Al Abramson, Ali Karim, J.D. Allen, Ingrid Willis, Kerry Hammond, Molly Weston, Naomi Kappel, Kim Hammond and the much missed Erin Mitchell

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015
My first day there was an adventure as my flight was delayed and then a airport worker’s mishaps caused another delayed. Happily we landed and we were free to start our new adventure. I like to arrive early so that I can volunteer my services before the convention started. It’s a good way to help and get to know other readers and authors as well. This year, we got shiny badges to signify our volunteerism. Because it’s our tradition, I had a lovely time and conversation with Susan Boyer at our Pre-Bouchercon dinner. After dinner Priscilla B. and I went exploring in the vicinity of the Sheraton and Marriott Hotels.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
First sighting of the day Ali Karim and Laura DiSilverio. Had a nice breakfast with Priscilla, and Ovidia Y., where we joined Laura DiSilvero at the Plaza Café. Volunteered by helping stuff book bags and inserting additional materials in envelopes. The rest of the day was spent author watching until it was time to head out to dinner where Gayle Trent arranged a pre-Bouchercon dinner over a T.K. Tripps. In attendance was Aubrey Nye Hamilton, Priscilla Caporaletti-Bean, Gayle Trent, Toni L.P. Kelner, Ovidia Yu, Barb Goffman, Sherry Novinger Harris,Shari Randall, and Alan Gratz (photo courtesy of Aubrey Hamilton). After dinner a few of us went to the see Susan Boyer and Art Taylor at Quail Ridge Books & Music where they were doing a book launch. Wine and crackers were served and a good time was had by all. I know I did something later in the evening, but it’s all a blur.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Having breakfast with Kristi Belcamino, Kristopher Zgorski, Judy Bobalik, and Ann from Oz at Jimmy V’s Osteria & Bar located in the Sheraton’s lobby. We had a lively conversation this morning at breakfast and some of the words bantered around were YayNo, entourage, I thought it was Literature, Assistant are paid – Partners are not, and Horse deliverers. Then it was off to the Author Speed Dating event where authors get 2-3 minutes to tell us about their books. You also pick up swags, chocolate and good book recommendations. I attended the New Faces – Best First Novel Nominees with Margaret Maron moderating; Kristi Belcamino, M.P. Cooley, Julia Dahl, Allen Eskens and Lori Rader-Day. I like going to this panel to see up and coming authors. I’ve read two of the new faces and plan to read the others.

I had lunch with Dorothy McFalls at The Twisted Mango and I had the fish taco. Then it was time for my panel: Tweet This: Taking Social Media to the Next Level with Deborah Lacy moderating and Maddee James, Janet Rudolph, Cara Brookins and myself sitting on the panel. We had standing room and people who came up to me after the panel said they got good information from it. I was happy to see some of my friends in attendance.

We had a pre-opening ceremony dinner with Kristi Belcamino, Julia Dahl, Lori Rader-Day and Martha Cooley at Jimmy V’s. Then it was time to attend the opening ceremony where nominees were given their certificate of nomination … then had to scoot out to volunteer at the HarperCollins book signing event where I helped give out the books for Kristi Belcamino and Deborah Crombie. I went to the BBQ that was held under the tent and enjoyed some chicken, coleslaw and sweet tea.

Then it was off to the first ever “Game Night” with Kendel Lynn, Diane Vallere, LynDee Stephens Walker, Debra Goldstein, Riley, Melissa Lenhardt, Nancy G. West, Paula Benson, Rochelle Staab, Susan Boyer, Wendy Tyson, Eleanor Caewood Jones, where UNO, Pictionary and Spoons were played. I never laughed so hard that night. A fun time of ruckus laughter, covert moves and hilarity ensured especially when the game of Spoons was played. At the other table where they were enjoying a game of Pictionary was loud as well. Diane Vallere sure knows how to capture her spoons – achieving the status of SPOON Queen of the Night.

Friday, October 9, 2015
Had breakfast at Jimmy V’s with Matthew Clemens, Judy Bobalik, Kristi Belcamino, and Claire Booth. Then it was off to attend a couple of panels that were engaging. I attended my first Bouchercon Members Business Meeting where we approved the 2019 Dallas Bouchercon and the 2020 Sacramento Bouchercon events. I had lunch at The Twisted Mango with Nancy Parra and I had chicken wings. Then it was off to my buddy Kristopher Zgorski panel where he was moderating.

Unknowingly, Libby Fischer Hellmann and I were waiting on the couch for the same person, Judy Bobalik. We walked over to Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant to attend the Shamus Award. I had southern fried chicken, green beans (they were Good), coleslaw and delicious sweet tea. It was my first time attending this event and I had a good time. I love the décor of the place.

After dinner, I made my way back to the second “Game Night” and what a fun time was had by all.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Had a nice breakfast with Jack Getze at the Sheraton restaurant Jimmy V’s, then went to check out the rest of the New Author’s Breakfast. Attended a few more panels and then had a nice lunch with Kendel Lynn and Diane Vallere. Had pre-dinner with LynDee Walker at Tango Twist where I had the nachos and then it was time for the Lifetime Achievement GoH Spotlight featuring Margaret Maron and after that the Anthony Awards Ceremony. A late night gathering with Eleanor Cawood Jones , Matthew Clemens and Michaela Shannon-Sank at Jimmy V’s ended the day.

Sunday, October 11, 2015
I had breakfast with Sj Rozan and Ovidia Yu at Jimmy V’s and then it was the evitable…saying goodbye to all my friends. Goodbye until New Orleans.







A Book-Infused Weekend

I had a wonderful 1.5 day weekend first traveling to Columbia by way of Baltimore. Seeing Kristopher, Michael, Sharon and Eleanor at the train station put a smile on my face. Then it was off as we took the scenic view up to Boonsboro, Maryland, home of the Nora Roberts’ Inn BoonsBoro (another bucket list item checked) and shopping in her bookstore, Turn the Page Bookstore (another checked off) and dining in her pizza shop, Vesta. After checking out some of the other stores in Boonsboro, we headed to Terre d’ Ange where we got the grand tour, relaxed and had good conversations. All in a good Saturday.

Sunday was the piece de resistance. . .having a home-cooked breakfast of home fries, fried eggs, toast, bacon, hot chocolate and orange juice to start the day before going to the Willard Hotel (another check off bucket list) for English Tea with Louise Penny. We got to the hotel early and just relaxed. We were looking to see where Ulysses Grant sat while hiding out from people. Eleanor brought me a fascinator (isn’t that a cute word for a headband with a fancy topping?) and I felt like a queen. Kris, Michael, Sharon, Patricia and Eleanor all looked mighty fine as we waited to get our book and enter the room for our tea and to listen to Louise Penny talk. We also saw several members of the Malice Board and as Joni said, it was Malice Domestic, pas duex.

The Menu was: Tea: English Breakfast or Green Tea Passion; Sandwiches: Orange Sesame Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Smoked Salmon and Cucumber; Scones: Vanilla and Raisin; Pastries: Lemon Meringue Tart, Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse and Hazelnut Cream Puff.

Then Louise entertained us with her writing endeavors as she sold her first book, took Q&A and then we had the book signing. I sometimes don’t know if an author remembers me when I had little contact with them, but as soon as Louise saw who I was, she gave me a big old hug. That was the highlight of my day as well as getting so many compliments on the fascinator. Thank you, Eleanor.

That was my weekend in a shell. A great time was had by all. Until the next time.










BritCrime Festival Coming in July 2015

BritCrime Festival logo

BritCrime online crime writing festival is coming to a computer monitor or tablet near you on July 11-13 2015.

You don’t have to leave your house to enjoy the 41 British crime writers that will feature live Q&A panel discussions hosted on Facebook, as well as informal ‘Meet us in the bar’ sessions for late night chat. The festival will provide updates from BritCrime authors attending New York’s ThrillerFest, as well as a look ahead to Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate the following week, where many BritCrime authors will be in attendance. Come one and come all for all the fun.

For more information visit or email

Helen SmithThis is a free online crime festival that will run for the first time in July 2015, as a result of a grassroots initiative instigated by author Helen Smith.

Click HERE to download the Press Release.

BookCon 2015

IMG_1494BookCon 2005
Location: Javits Center, New York, NY
Date: May 30, 2015

Yesterday I went to BookCon and had a blast. I learned from last year to bring a carry-on suitcase and to be prepared to stand. Luckily I was granted a medical badge and was able to enter the conference 10 minutes before the general public. I still did a lot of standing but at least I paced myself and thanks to my friend, she got me access to chairs.

Also learned from last year, is to make a strategic plan of what we wanted to see and with careful planning, we manage to see and do all the things that we wanted to do and more. I saw a couple of my author friends and it was good to see them and chat for a little while. Then it was going here, there and everyone and even a break for a meal before the energy was sapped right out of me. The day was long as we got there around 8:30 and left after 5pm and then it was time to head for home. I’ll be back next year with an even better game plan.






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book stuff

Malice Domestic 2015 Recap

IMG_1266Event: Malice Domestic
Location: Bethesda, MD
Date: May 1 – May 4, 2015

It was a whirlwind weekend of camaraderie and fun times at the Malice Domestic Convention. From having early morning breakfasts, to joyous lunch meals and delectable dinner choices, the company was exceptionally enjoyable with laughter throughout.

There were so many activities to take part in and I especially enjoyed Malice-Go-Round, where authors have 2 minutes to sell their book and the Jungle Red Panel where they had to answer questions in 20 seconds and I was the timekeeper.

The Saturday night banquet is, of course, the best event of the Malice weekend and I was so thrilled when my friend Terrie Moran won for Best Novel. Blushing in the corner was me as she gave me a shout-out in her acceptance speech. I also enjoyed my seatmate who was the father of Kathryn O’Sullivan. He was delightfully charming.

Overall, this was the best Malice Domestic Convention that I’ve attended and I can’t wait to see what happens next year.

I always say that I will take notes on my activity, but at the end of the day I’m bushed from said activity and all I have are pictures. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so here you go:

Two of my dining experiences
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Hotel Drink







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JoAnna Carl, Alyssa Maxwell




Eva Gates, Alan Orloff






Alice Loweecey, Beverly Allen



Janet Cantrell





Kate Carlisle, Kylie Logan





Connie Archer, Leslie Budewitz




Laura Morrigan, Liz Mugavero




Elizabeth Duncan,





Midnight Ink 10th Anniversary Celebration IMG_1322 IMG_1321 IMG_1373 IMG_1375 IMG_1377 IMG_1387 IMG_1389 IMG_1390






































Some of my goodies

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Signing: Before and During:

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Here’s me at the Jungle Red PanelJungle Red Panelist Fun (Robin Templeton) (photo courtesy of Robin Templeton)




Here’s me with the Sleuth in Time (photo courtesy of Christine Trent) The Sleuths with Dru Ann Love (Christine Trent)






That concludes my pictorial montage. For more information on Malice Domestic Convention, click HERE

The 2015 Anthony Award Nominations

Best Novel
Lamentation – Joe Clifford [Oceanview]
The Secret Place – Tana French [Hodder & Stoughton/Viking]
After I’m Gone – Laura Lippman [William Morrow]
The Long Way Home – Louise Penny [Minotaur]
Truth Be Told – Hank Phillippi Ryan [Forge]

Best First Novel
Blessed Are the Dead – Kristi Belcamino [Witness Impulse]
Ice Shear – M.P. Cooley [William Morrow]
Invisible City – Julia Dahl [Minotaur]
The Life We Bury – Allen Eskens [Seventh Street]
The Black Hour – Lori Rader-Day [Seventh Street]

Best Paperback Original
Stay With Me – Alison Gaylin [Harper]
The Killer Next Door – Alex Marwood [Penguin]
The Day She Died – Catriona McPherson [Midnight Ink]
World of Trouble – Ben H. Winters [Quirk]
No Stone Unturned – James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street]

Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work
The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis – Charles Brownson [McFarland]
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice – Kate Clark Flora [New Horizon]
Dru’s Book Musings – []
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe – J.W. Ocker [Countryman]
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey – Hank Phillippi Ryan, ed. [Henery]

Best Short Story
“Honeymoon Sweet” Murder at the Beach: The Bouchercon Anthology 2014 – Craig Faustus Buck [Down & Out]
“The Shadow Knows” Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays – Barb Goffman [Wildside]
“Howling at the Moon” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 – Paul D. Marks [Dell]
“Of Dogs & Deceit” Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 – John Shepphird [Dell]
“The Odds Are Against Us” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 – Art Taylor [Dell]

Best Anthology or Collection
FaceOff – David Baldacci, ed. [Simon & Schuster]
Murder at the Beach: The Bouchercon Anthology 2014 – Dana Cameron, ed. [Down & Out]
Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen – Joe Clifford, ed. [Gutter]
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon – Laurie R. King & Leslie S. Klinger, eds. [Pegasus Crime]
Carolina Crimes: 19 Tales of Love, Lust, and Longing – Karen Pullen, ed. [Wildside]

Nominees were selected by attendees of 2014 Bouchercon in Long Beach and registrants of 2015 Bouchercon in Raleigh. Awards will be determined by Bouchercon attendees in Raleigh, October 8-11, 2015.

The 2015 Agatha Award Nominations

The Agatha nominations was released today and I’m so excited. The winners will be announced at the Malice Domestic Convention on May 2, 2015. Congratulations to one and all!

Best Contemporary Novel
The Good, The Bad and The Emus by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)

Best Historical Novel
Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
Wouldn’t it Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland (Minotaur Books)
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Murder in Murray Hill by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Best First Novel
Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris (Kensington Publishing)
Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien (Henery Press)
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran (Berkley Prime Crime)
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)

Best Nonfiction
400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Plantinga (Quill Driver Books)
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan (ed) (Henery Press)
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice by Kate Flora (New Horizon Press)
The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley (Pegasus Books)
The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor by Stephen Bates (Overlook Hardcover)

Best Short Story
“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor (EQMM)
“Premonition” (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Art Taylor (Wildside Press)
“The Shadow Knows” (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“Just Desserts for Johnny” by Edith Maxwell (Kings River Life Magazine)
“The Blessing Witch” (Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave) by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Level Best Books)

Best Children’s/Young Adult
Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower (ZonderKidz)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books)
Uncertain Glory by Lea Wait (Islandport Press)
The Code Buster’s Club, Case #4, The Mummy’s Curse by Penny Warner (Egmont USA)
Found by Harlen Coben (Putnam Juvenile)

Bouchercon 2014 Recap

bcon_logo_flatBouchercon 2014: Murder on the Beach
Location: Long Beach, California
Date: November 13 – 16, 2014

Monday, November 10
Arrived in Long Beach in time to watch Castle marry Beckett and off to bed I went.

Tuesday, November 11
IMG_0978Met for the first time Judy B. (we were both still on our respective time zone hours) for breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Tides. We spent most of the breakfast laughing our hearts out and decided that we are sisters from another mother. Next it was time to meet with Ingrid W, who was taking me to her local nail salon to get my manicure/pedicure. Enroute, I got to experience small town Long Beach and its colorful buildings. Back at the hotel and to the book room to help fold papers, and stuff book bags.

Then Susan B and I had our traditional pre-conference dinner at PF Chang.

Facebook status: The tech came and fixed my thermostat and left me a card giving me a complimentary meal at the hotel’s restaurant.

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Wednesday, November 12
I signed up for the Hollywood Stars tour and the Haunted Tour at the Queen Mary. The tour was lots of fun with the tour guide pointing out sites that included the building they use to simulate the Empire State Building; saw that streets that is supposed to replicate NY’s Fifth Avenue. We arrived at the Hollywood sign and I took a few pictures; he even pointed out Steven Spielberg’s compound and the house that Mel Gibson knocked off its stilts in one of the Lethal Weapon movies. Next stop was the drive towards Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive before we ended at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, now known as TCL Theater where I took lots and lots of pictures of the stars that adorn the sidewalks. We even saw them putting in the star for Matthew McConaughey. On this tour, we saw Marilyn Monroe house and the courthouse where the OJ Simpson trial was held.

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Back to the hotel that was ablazed with authors arriving. I was invited to the VIP tour of the Queen Mary and dinner to follow. Oh the guide was telling us about the ghosts in the first class pool when I looked in the corner and saw something. Yep, those ghosts know how to find me.

Dinner was at the SKY Room and the first thing I noticed when I put my bag down at the first empty table I saw, was the place setting for J.A. Jance. J.A. Jance! OMG! I love her work and was thrilled to be sitting at the table with her, her husband and her editor. We had such a good time getting to know Judith and what a glorious time we both had. She told her the backstory on her novella that comes out at end of November. You should have seen me and Shawn Simmons Reilly…we were in heaven. Dinner was salad, salmon, spinach, potatoes and instead of crème brulee, I had three small scoops of vanilla ice cream. After dinner, it was back to the hotel and the bar where the drinks were flowing and laughter was heard throughout the universe.

I know I’m forgetting a lot but I was in my element enjoying myself.

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Facebook status: First celebrity (author) sighting today was Cathy Pickens and then Catriona McPherson.
Facebook status: I’m at dinner sitting next to JA Jance

Thursday, November 13
Thursday was the first “official” day of Bouchercon and it started with Author Speed Dating; Murder, We Wrote with Donald Bains and Renee Paley-Bain, moderated by Tom Sawyer; If I Knew Then What I Know Now with Brett Battles, Jessie Chandler, John Connolly, Elaine Viets, Martyn Waites, moderated by Marilyn Beebe; Mixing Murder With Food with Connie Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Daryl Wood Gerber, Karen MacInerney, Ovidia Yu, moderated by Kate Carlisle.

Then it was off to attend the “Hollywood Premier” Opening Ceremonies Hosted by HarperCollins. This was held at the Long Beach Convention Center. I went with Sparkle Abbey and we got good seats near the front. I was asked to help pass out the books to the author as the signed and guess who I assisted. Yep. J.A. Jance! Again, how cool is that? So I’m sitting behind the curtains with a bevy of HarperCollins authors and it was too cool. I was a smiling person during the entire time backstage. I got to see Wendy Corsi Staub, Kristi Belcamino,

Facebook status: On the agenda today: Author/Friend Sightings!
Facebook status: Met Kristi Belcamino.
Facebook status from Hank Phillipi Ryan: How cool is this? Dru Ann is helping Bouchercon 2014 – Murder at the Beach guest of honor J.A. Jance Author’s Page sign her new books. They were chatting like the best of pals…this a pretty plum assignment, I must say! What a treat to see.

IMG_0997 Donald Bain Renee Paley Bain IMG_1084 Simon Wood IMG_1113 DA and JA Jance - courtesty of Hank Ryan
photo of me sitting next to J.A. Jance, courtesy of Hank Phillippi Ryan

Friday, November 14
About Fans courtesty of J. McKinlay photo courtesy of J. McKinlay

Today was the day I’ll be sitting on my first even panel. I was a bit nervous but my fellow panelists were cool. (There goes that word again). But first I went to the 7am Meet the New Authors Breakfast hosted by Mike Befeler; and then it was time for my panel: Super Fans and How They Got Involved – Al Abramson, Kerry Hammond, Me, Doris Ann Norris, Janet Rudolph, moderated by Brad Parks. It went well and I even told my Sue Grafton story. It was great to see my friends in the audience and that relaxed me more than they know.

IMG_1125Then I had one of the best opportunities ever, a meet and greet with the writers and cast of TNT’s Major Crimes! Major Crimes. How awesome was that and I enjoyed the intimate session where we got some great scoops and insights into this wonderful show. After the meet and greet, we Meet Greet Major Crimesfollowed the cast and writers to the Major Crimes panel where the spoke to the larger Bouchercon audience with Q&As.

photo courtesy of D. Lacy

Then it was onto the Berkley Cocktail Reception in the Sky room – but this time we were on the lower floor.

Back at the hotel’s rotunda was the Dessert Reception & Live Charity Auction hosted by Hank Phillippi Ryan and Simon Wood.

Facebook Status: Two of the highlights of my day is meeting Kristi Belcamino and helping pass the J.A. Jance’s new book to sign for readers. The other highlights is seeing all my old friends and making new friends.
Facebook Status: The panel I was on went well. I was so nervous.
Facebook Status: The coolest highlight was the meet and greet with the writers and cast of Major Crimes. Thanks Deborah Lacy!

Saturday, November 15
DA Panel -courtesy of S. Brannan photo courtesy of S. Brannan

Today was the day I moderate my first ever panel at a reader/author convention. Yes, I was a bit nervous but not as anxious since I survived the panel I sat on. Barbara Graham and I were in the room and since it was an early panel, we were hoping no one showed up and we would have it in the back of the room with us. Little by little, the attendees grew until it was time for us to sit on the dais. My panel was Add Spice to Your Crafts: Murder With your Favorite Hobbies with Barbara Graham, Sybil Johnson, Author Jennifer McAndrews, Camille Minichino, Clare O’Donohue and moderated by Me. From various comments, the session went well. There were laughter here and there. The best part was finally meeting Sandra Balzo. And the funny part was once I met her, I saw her at least 4 times that day.

Obviously the day got away from me as I can only recall attending the Jungle Red Writers panel with Deborah Crombie, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Julia Spencer-Fleming moderated by Rhys Bowen.

Then it was onto the Long Beach Performing Center where the presentation of the Anthony Awards were given out. I was happy to hear my friend Judy announced as the winner of the David Thompson award and to hear Joelle and Catriona name announced as an Anthony Award winner. I later discovered that my friend Brad won a Shamus and Art and Terry won a Macavity. Congrats to all the winner.

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Facebook Status: Another highlight…I finally met Charlaine Harris! How cool is that?
Facebook Status: Yesterday was a good day. My panel, according to eye witnesses and passerby, went well. Received a nice twitter note from Alex Segura.
Facebook Status: From the “you did good” to “it went well,” sounds like the panel I moderated was good. We had a few chuckles and that’s always a good thing. I like to thank Clare O’Donohue, Camille Minichino, Author Jennifer McAndrews, Barbara Graham and Sybil Johnson for making it so easy. Thanks guys!
Facebook Status: One of the highlights of the day is seeing Sandra Balzo.
Facebook Status: Another highlight is meeting Dianne Emley
Facebook Status: I’m on a mission to get one more book signed.
Facebook Status: Alas I’m so bad in taking pictures

2014 Anthony Award Winners
Robert Galbraith – Best Audiobook for The Cuckoo’s Calling
The Blacklist Pilot – Best TV Episode
Jolie Charbonneau – Best Children Or YA for The Testing
Daniel Stashower – Best Critical / Non-Fiction for The Hour Of Peril
John Connolly – Best Short Story for The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository
Matt Coyle – Best First Novel for Yesterday’s Echo
Catriona Mcpherson – Best Paperback Original for As She Left It
William Kent Krueger – Best Novel for Ordinary Grace
Judy Bobalik – David Thompson Award

2014 PWA (Private Eye Writers of America) SHAMUS AWARDS
Grant Bywaters – St Martins / PWA Award: for The Red Storm
Max A Collins – Best PI Short Story: SO LONG, CHIEF
Lachlan Smith – Best First PI Novel: BEAR IS BROKEN
M Ruth Myers – Best Indie PI Novel: Don’t Dare a Dame
PJ Parish – Best Paperback Original: HEART OF ICE
Brad Parks – Best Hardcover PI Novel: The Good Cop
Sue Grafton – Lifetime Achievement

2014 Macavity Awards
William Kent Krueger – Best Mystery Novel: Ordinary Grace
Terry Shames – Best First Mystery: A Killing at Cotton Hill
Art Taylor – Best Mystery Short Story: “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants”
Daniel Stashower – Best Nonfiction: The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
David Morrell – Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award: Murder as a Fine Art

Following a lovely Post–Anthony Awards reception hosted by Grand Central Publishing, the day came to an end.

Sunday, November 16
Queen MaryNow it’s time to say goodbye to all and the highlight of the day was going to the Concierge floor and checking out the view of the Queen Mary in all its glory and the Carnival cruise ship.

Until the next reader/author convention…I’ll see you soon.

Thanks to all who made this a memorable Bouchercon.