Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bouchercon 2016

Only 46 days until Bouchercon!


One of the long awaited B'Con events every year is the unveiling of the panel schedule.

Placing 750+ authors into approximately 480 panel slots fell into the more than capable hands of Jon Jordan and Judy Bobalik this year.  They're pros at this, and did their usual outstanding job.  But, you know, it's hard to make everyone happy (unless you're pizza).  Needless to say, there are happy folks and there are unhappy folks.  Always.  And in coming years at upcoming conventions, these roles could be reversed.

I fall into the happy folks category.

You can find the entire Bouchercon schedule here, thanks to the incredibly always on top of things, Erin Mitchell.

If you plan on being in New Orleans for Bouchercon this year, I hope you'll stop by the "All the Critics Love You in New York Panel" at 12:00 on Thursday. 

 Librarian Penny Halle of "Murder and Mayhem in Muskego" fame will be moderating  Lesa Holstine of Lesa's Book Critiques, Dru Ann Love of Dru's Book Musings,  Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books,  Erica Neubauer, Freelance Book Reviewer at Publishers Weekly, and me, as we discuss books we recommend.

This should be fun, and I can promise you'll walk away with a list of new books to add to your ever-growing "To Be Read" stack.

And -

I'll also be joining David Morrell, who is best known for his popular character Rambo, bestselling author Heather Graham and the rest of the talented and awesome contributors to this year's Bouchercon anthology, Blood on the Bayou, for a group signing.

The signing will take place on Saturday at 2:00.

Blood on the Bayou, edited by the marvelous Greg Herren, is now available for pre-order through Down & Out Books -

I always look forward to Bouchercon.

I'm not able to attend every year, which makes it that much more special, I guess, when I do.

There are always some moments of pure magic.

I love when I happen to bump into an author whose work I love and get to exchange a few words, when I get to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with old and dear friends I don't get to see often enough.

There's always much to love about Bouchercon.

This year I'll get to spend some time exploring a city I've never been to, but have long been fascinated by.

I plan on spending a lot of time wandering the city with my camera, and have a list a mile long of places I want to see.

A pretty long list of places to shop.

A monstrously long list of places to eat.

All in all, I expect this to be a pretty memorable Bouchercon.

Life is good.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dear Dr. Crider

I know I usually call you Bill, but I often think I'll call you Dr. Crider just 'cause.  Just cause it seems to carry with it a bit of respect.  And I always think of you with respect.

You told someone one time during a conversation we were having at a mystery convention that you had never known me to back down from anything.

And it got me to thinking.

We're very different in a lot of ways, but also very much alike.

I tend to be loud and outspoken and brash.

You tend to be laid back and kind and gentle.

But strong.

A quiet strength people know they can count on.

You're one that we all know is always going to be there for us.

There's not a person in your world who hasn't received a quiet word of encouragement, a pat on the back, from you.

You don't do it in a way that's going to bring attention.

You do it in a way that's purely "Bill Crider."

I'm only one of many who has been on the receiving end of those kind, quiet words of care and encouragement.

And it means more than I have words to say.

This is my long, rambling "I'll get there eventually" way of saying I know you don't back down either.

And I know you won't now.

You'll fight and my money's on you.

So let's kick some cancer ass, what say?

You have about a hundred million beezillion people standing beside you while you do it.

And I think you can win.

In the meantime, here's a hug.

I love you to the moon and back, Dr. Bill Crider.

Get well so we can hang out at another mystery con and eat some more chocolate cake.



Friday, July 22, 2016


A preeminent event for established and aspiring crime writers,
the 2017 California Crime Writers Conference will take place June 10-11, 2017

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and SoCal Mystery Writers of America are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2017 California Crime Writers Conference.  The 2017 California Crime Writers Conference will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, 2107 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles—Westside/6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, California.

A renowned event geared toward both emerging and established mystery and crime fiction writers, the 2017 California Crime Writers Conference includes workshops, presentations, and sessions with top agents, editors, award-winning authors, publishing industry insiders and crime investigation professionals. Guests of Honor for the 2017 California Crime Writers Conference are New York Times best-selling authors William Kent Krueger and Hallie Ephron. 

The intensive two-day event features an extraordinary programming lineup covering Craft, Forensics/Crime Solving, Publishing Industry, and Marketing panels, in addition to keynote luncheons, networking events, an agent & editor cocktail party, a book room and charity auction.  A limited number of individual, on-site manuscript critiques are available at an additional fee in advance Registration for 2017 CCWC is limited to 200 to maintain a congenial atmosphere among faculty and registrants. For full details, and to reserve your spot, visit:

Members of the news media wishing to request additional information about the 2017 California Crime Writers Conference are asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone: (615) 297-9875, or by email:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

That Circus in Cleveland


Once again, I am not watching the televised circus taking place in Cleveland which is calling itself a political convention. 

Those of us old enough to remember watching political conventions in the past remember them as gatherings where people talked and talked and talked and talked and talked some more. 

They were often dry and boring. 

There were sometimes surprises. 

Perhaps a speech given by a charismatic young up and comer that made us sit back and say "Wow. This person is going to be a person to watch," which made a political junkie such as myself happy I had stuck through the boring. 

But, never did I ever imagine the surprise of hearing a couple of D list long out of work actors being considered intelligent enough or articulate enough to be a part of our political process. 

And then, not surprisingly, prove they were neither of those things. 

If you're ignorant and tasteless enough to use the "C" word for ANY woman, you've proved yourself to be scum. 

That this crass ignorance reflects the values of the person this moron is supporting as a candidate for President should not be happening in THIS country. 

MY country. 

And the rest of those people? Reality TV at its worst could never touch this mess. 

And it all reminds me of why I hated the circus, even as a child. 

Because it always smelled like shit. 

Nite, all!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The First Annual Girls' Week at the Beach

Surf City, Topsail Island, North Carolina
July 9 - July 16, 2016

Our First Annual Girls' Week at the Beach was perfect.

We're already talking about the second.

I started out in a vacation state of mind with my Mocha Frappe

cool tunes to sing along with


my traveling buddy

Started the trip off just right with a visit with my friends Joe and Margaret Maron.  And as usual, they sent me off the next morning with a full tummy after serving up some French Toast and bacon.

I love visiting with the Marons.

Besides feeding me well, I know I can count of interesting conversations and delightful stories in one of the most comfortable homes I've ever had the pleasure of visiting.

I was the first to arrive at our house at the beach.  

The very first thing I did was step outside to take a deep breath, smell the salty air and listen to the welcome from the waves.

These two owls kept their wise and watchful eyes on us for a week, and were fine company.

Isn't our house adorable?  Its name is Whale Song.

Dindy and Vickie arrived a little later.

Dindy treated us to a delicious Low Country Boil for dinner.

And, for dessert . . . 
this beauty.

Maryglenn couldn't join us till Monday, but she sent this.

Best. Cake. EVER

We had dinner at Beauchaine's the next night.  

and we did a little exploring and picture taking

Paid a visit to one of my favorite trees and Vickie got a super picture of me and "my tree."

And we went to Quarter Moon Books.

One of the best indie bookstores I've ever been to.

It will never stop being a total thrill to find my Whimsey on a bookshelf.

And we did some deck sitting



And lookie - our Maryglenn arrived 

Another delicious dinner at home.  We love this little screened-in porch.  Tonight we had ham (prepared by moi), corn on the cob, cabrese salad and peas, grown and prepared by our Vickie.  It was to die for.

And then, Maryglenn fixed us lemondrops.

oh.  my.

This was my first ever lemondrop.

I think I'm in love.

And then for breakfast the next morning she fixed us mimosas and bacon crackers.

I could learn to live like this every single day, I do believe!

And what could possibly be better than coffee on the deck looking out over the ocean?

Not being a sun-worshiper any longer, I was either under this umbrella while on the deck, or in the screen porch

Oh, look.

Another morning, another mimosa

And another visit to Beauchaine's

We had doves as part of our little party also.


Our final evening as a foursome, we went to Home Port, wearing our "First Annual Girls' Week at the Beach" scarves

And Vickie and I said our goodbyes to Dindy and Maryglenn the following morning

Then I did a little shell seeking in my jammies while it was early and cool

Vickie and I went out to do a little more shopping (we did some good shopping)  and to the park and to snap some pictures of the old swing bridge which will be replaced before next summer rolls round.

And the next morning, we said goodbye

With the most perfect sunrise imaginable.

And we'll be back next year