Daily Archives: October 14, 2015

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

# # # # # # # # # # #

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 Day in the Life of Richard Wilson. . .AKA Jeffrey Bloom by Beverly Allen

Floral DepravityI never dreamed I’d be an absentee dad. I mean, my own father was a bit emotionally distant. So when I had kids, I knew I would be different. I’d be the father you could talk to. The one who would be there, through thick and thin. Yeah, I was going to give Ward Cleaver a run for his money.

So why, then, did I up and leave my family without notice? It’s a long and sordid story, one that I’m not ready to tell yet. It might be dangerous for Audrey if I did.

Audrey Bloom. . .She was only nine when I left. Daddy’s little girl. How I must have hurt her. I saw it in her eyes when she looked at me.

I’ve had no contact with her until now, and that was an accident. But I’ve followed her through whatever means I could. I think I was the only one who subscribed to the small town paper while she was growing up. I still have the yellowed newsprint picture of Audrey holding up a trophy she won at the town-wide spelling bee. She was a gangly thing, all arms and legs, long hair and braces. But she was the best thing I’d seen in years.

I have a bulging folder of clippings. Honor rolls. Dean’s lists. Then those stopped. I found out she was no longer enrolled in nursing school. I must have spent hours on Google, worried something had happened to her. Then I discovered she’d moved to Ramble, Virginia, the small town where my mother-in-law had lived. (Mae was quite a character. But she loved Audrey fiercely. Finding her obit saddened me even more. For Audrey’s sake.)

When I learned Audrey had opened up a flower show with her cousin Liv, I was happy to know that she found her passion. Her own passion, not her mother’s, who, I must admit honestly, can be a tad controlling. Her mother and I had not been on the best of terms when I disappeared, although I never intended to make so clean a break from her life. But she’s remarried, now, I see, to some mover-and-shaker with political aspirations. I hope she’s happy.

Audrey appears to be. I framed the article from the Ramble On about her technique of making up bridal bouquets based on the language of flowers. I can’t claim I understand it, but by the number of other papers who picked up the story, it seems my little girl is quite the trendsetter. And I watched and re-watched all the You Tube video I could find from the canceled episode of Fix My Wedding that she was supposed to be in. Imagine, her involved in catching a killer! I’m glad that’s over.

But, now. I recognized Audrey the moment I saw her. Still tall, but filled out more. A lovely young woman, but perhaps I might be a little bit partial. I was costumed as a medieval friar (which makes more sense if you know that I was officiating at a medieval themed wedding for which Audrey apparently arranged the flowers). At first I hoped she didn’t recognize me, but those eyes, boring into me. Questioning. Blaming. Then hurt. I could almost feel the hurt.

And then the danger should she reveal my identity. Scary things are happening here, and I don’t want her involved in them. I should have never come so close to Ramble. Should never have risked coming back to Virginia. All I could think to do, as soon as the ceremony was over, was to run away.

Always running away.

You can read more about Richard in Floral Depravity, the third book in the “Bridal Bouquet Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first two books in the series are Bloom and Doom and For Whom the Bluebell Tolls.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, October 21 for your chance to win a print copy of Floral Depravity. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Beverly Allen lives near Buffalo, NY, and hibernates the long winters reading, writing, watching classic movies, and playing board games—all while herding four naughty but adorable cats. During the summer, she cranks the A/C and does the same. Despite severe allergies, she studied flower arranging while researching the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries: Bloom and Doom, For Whom the Bluebell Tolls, and Floral Depravity (Berkley Prime Crime), and singlehandedly cornered the Benadryl market.

Visit Beverly at www.beverlyallenmysteries.com