Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bouchercon, Books, and Babies

Bouchercon has come and gone, but what a treat it was! Jim Huang and his fellow organizers put on quite a show in Indianapolis this past weekend. I drove down there from chicago on Wednesday afternoon with my traveling buddy and fellow author Luisa Buehler (The Innkeeper: A Registered Death), arriving at our off-site hotel just in time to have dinner with Echelon publisher Karen Syed and her lovely mother Nancy. Bob Goldsborough (A President in Peril)joined us at the hotel on Thursday, and off we all went to the Hyatt Regency where Bouchercon was just getting into high gear.

After registering, I was off to the Hospitality Suite where I was volunteering an hour each day. Hospitality was managed by Brenda Stewart, and a more capable, friendly, and organized woman I've yet to meet. Kudos to Brenda for an outstanding job. Working Hospitality was fun as I met a lot of old friends who stopped by there for a cup of coffee and other goodies provided by the Indy chapter of Sisters in Crime. Pictured here are Deb Baker, Barb D'Amato, Kaye Barley with Mary Jane Maffini, retired librarian extraordinaire Doris Ann Norris, and Anthony Award winner Julie Hyzy.

Deb writes two series, one set in Michigan and one in Arizone. Both are amateur sleuth series, and both are great IMHO. Doris is an avid mystery reader who goes out of her way to welcome new authors to the fold. She is truly a friend to all in the mystery community. Kaye is a long time member of DorothyL, an online list for mystery fans, and writes the "Meanderings and Muses" blog. Like Doris, Kaye is knowledgeable about books in general and mysteries in particular.

Mary Jane Maffini is a Canadian whose three series are set in Canada and feature wonderfully memorable charaters. Mary Jane is also known for her short stories, especially those found in the six "Ladies Killing Circle" anthologies.

I dare anyone to say they don't know Barbara D'Amato. Barb is the award winning author of two series and several stand-alone mysteries, a playwright and researcher, and a past president of Sisters in Crime and MWA.

Her Figueroa & Bennis novel, Authorized Personnel Only, won the first annual Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2001. Her latest book is the thriller Foolproof, co-written with Jeanne M. Dams and Mark Richard Zubro, to be published in December 2009. She has a new yet-untitled novel coming out from Tor/Forge in 2010.

Last but not least, here's a pic of Julie Hyzy speaking at the Anthony awards ceremony after receiving an Anthony for "State of the Onion" for Best Paperback Original mystery. I've known Julie for years and I was thrilled when her name was announced at the awards ceremony. Julie is a fine writer, and after years of honing her craft, she truly deserves all the success she's now enjoying.

Bouchercon was great fun and finished with a bang with an author book giveaway preceeded by the silent and live auctions benefiting Indy literacy activities. Congratulations to Deb Watson and Sandy Tooley who so capably ran the two auctions. You both did a magnificent job!

And now, just a little news of my own. The third book in my "Rhodes to Murder" series is being re-released by Echelon Press in 2010. This revised edition of "To Kill A King" will feature a new cover and will be released under the title "The Heat Wave Murders". I'm thrilled to have my entire backlist available again and hope you all approved of this newly edited edition.

Some of you have been asking to see updated photos of my youngest grandson. Well, here they are. Christian is now eight months old and is doing just beautifully. He's a happy baby, very strong and active, and wants only to walk, walk, walk! No, he can't walk on his own yet, but does he ever scoot around in his rolling walker! He loves our driveway where he can roll on and on and on.

We have another baby in the family, except this one's a dog! Bonita (pictured here with my daughter Jennifer)is a Newfoundland Lansier. Jen and husband Jay got her when she was ten weeks old. She's now thirteen weeks old and has gained five pound a week since arriving in their home.

Our grandsons Dan and Zach love their new puppy, but guess what! Bonita has already eaten their homework! Yes, at thirteen weeks she reached over the edge of the kitchen table and gobbled up their papers. If you know anything about Newfies, you'll understand how she managed it. Bonita's mom weighed 145 pounds and her dad weighed 185. We're taking bets on how big this baby will get! :)



  1. Loved hearing about Bouchercon. Sorry I had to miss it. Also liked seeing the photos--you sure take good ones. The baby is so cute!

  2. Hi Mary,
    Love your blog about Bouchercon! It was my first and sooo magical. Also love the family info. cutie kids and super dog!
    Marlis Day