This past week, I attended my second Bouchercon Mystery Convention, held in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a gathering of mystery authors and their fans to co-mingle, attend panels and just have fun. As an introverted person, I really abandon my shyness when I’m surrounded by the authors who have become friends and I excited and thrilled when I’m talking to them, dining with them or hanging out in the bar. In addition, there are those friends I’ve made who I can’t wait to see at this annual event. It’s non-stop action all the way and even if I’m tired from the day’s events, there’s a smile on my face and joy in my heart attending this conference.

When: October 4 – 7
Where: The Cleveland Marriott Renaissance

October 3
I got in a little earlier to get in some sightseeing. I met my friend C. C. and we went to breakfast at Addy’s and then walked around and then went into the Horseshoe Casino where a guard gave us a tour of the three floors. The main floors had the penny, nickel and 2 cents slots; the second floor has the quarter and dollars slot and then we went into the high roller room where I saw a slot machine for $500. On the lower level is the buffet.

Then it was off to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium where we saw jellyfish, alligators, piranha, octopus, stingrays, starfish, sand tiger sharks and I learned how to tell a female shark from a male shark. They had a walkway where the animals swam over your head. Cool.

Next up was our 2-hour Lolly Trolley tour where we saw the Flats, Downtown, The Warehouse District, Ohio City, The Gateway District, Playhouse Square, Millionaire’s Row, The Cleveland Play House, the Cleveland Clinic, the museums and institutions of University Circle, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens & City Greenhouse, the Lake Erie Shoreline and North Coast harbor.

October 4
The next day two of the panels I attended were the Mystery Southern Style with Cathy Pickens, Tina Whittle, Jaden Terrell, Kathryn Wall and Donna Andrews and 50 Shades of Cozy with Rosemary Harris, Dorothy St. James, Duffy Brown, Catriona McPherson and Clare O’Donohue.

Then it was off to the opening ceremonies at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where several awards were given out:

  • The Macavity Award for Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction: Charlaine Harris: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
  • The Macavity Award for Best Mystery Short Story: Dana Cameron: “Disarming”
  • The Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award: Catriona McPherson: Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains
  • The Barry Award for Best Short Story: “The Gun Also Rises” by Jeffrey Cohen

We didn’t have enough time to explore the whole museum, however, I did gazed and admire the items from Michael Jackson and the Supremes. If I’m ever in Cleveland again, my goal is to spend the day enjoying the history of the music scene.

October 5
The next day I was invited to attend the 2nd Annual Librarian’s Breakfast with Mary Higgins Clark and then invited to A Cozy In Cleveland Tastemaker’s Luncheon where Casey Daniels and Amanda Flower were on the panel.

The panels I attended were Those Crafty Sleuth with Lois Winston, Mollie Cox Bryan, Joanna Campbell Slan, Penny Warner, Kylie Logan; Eve of Destruction with Nancy Martin, Deborah Coonts, Sophie Littlefield, Tracy Kiely; I Am Woman Hear Me Roar with Nora McFarland, Sara J. Henry Jennifer McAndrews, Zoe Sharp, Meg Gardiner and Taylor Stevens; Girls Just Want To Have Fun with Lucy Burdette, Rhys Bowen, Deborah Cromble, Hallie Ephron, Rosemary Harris, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Julia Spencer-Flemming with her husband on the panel as well. (I had a role – my job was to hand deliver the prizes to the winners) and Judging a Book by its Cover with Robin Agnew, Sara Rosett, Marcia Telley, Heather Webber, Denise Swanson, Daryl Wood Gerber/Avery Aames. I also went to the craft session with Penny Warner and made a pendant.

October 6
On Saturday I spent more time hanging with authors but did attend a few panels: Elementary My Dear Cleveland with Leslie S. Klinger, Michael Robertson, Dan Andriacco, Laurie R. King, Sara Paretsky and Daniel Stashower and two Guest of Honor Events with Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie and Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. After that event we had the silent auction and the Anthony Awards were presented and my friend Julie Hyzy won the Anthony for Best Paperback Original: Buffalo West Wing. After the Anthony Awards, Kensington had a Meet the Authors Reception.

And then it was all over. I can’t wait for the next mystery convention.

**Today only, I’m giving away (1) copy of THE LOST YEARS by Mary Higgins Clark. Contest open to US residents only and ends tonight (10/11/12) at midnight EST. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly by me. **

Meeting my favorite authors is a thrill and sometimes I act like a fangirl and squeal. What would you do if you met your all-time favorite author?

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