Category Archives: Conventions

reader/fan conventions

Anthony Award Nominations 2017

The Anthony Award nominations for 2017 have been announced on the Toronto Bouchercon website. Winners will be announced in Toronto at Bouchercon’s Passport To Murder in October.  Below is the list of nominees. Congratulations to them all!

Best Novel
You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott [Little, Brown]
Where It Hurts – Reed Farrel Coleman [G.P. Putnam’s Sons]
Red Right Hand – Chris Holm [Mulholland]
Wilde Lake – Laura Lippman [William Morrow]
A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
Dodgers – Bill Beverly [Crown]
IQ – Joe Ide [Mulholland]
Decanting a Murder – Nadine Nettmann [Midnight Ink]
Design for Dying – Renee Patrick [Forge]
The Drifter – Nicholas Petrie [G.P. Putnam’s Sons]

Best Paperback Original
Shot in Detroit – Patricia Abbott [Polis]
Leadfoot – Eric Beetner [280 Steps]
Salem’s Cipher – Jess Lourey [Midnight Ink]
Rain Dogs – Adrian McKinty [Seventh Street]
How to Kill Friends and Implicate People – Jay Stringer [Thomas & Mercer]
Heart of Stone – James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street]

Best Short Story
“Oxford Girl” – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir [Akashic]
“Autumn at the Automat” – Lawrence Block, In Sunlight or in Shadow [Pegasus]
“Gary’s Got A Boner” – Johnny Shaw, Waiting to Be Forgotten [Gutter]
“Parallel Play” – Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning [Wildside]
“Queen of the Dogs” – Holly West, 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul and Payback [Moonstone]

Best Critical Nonfiction Work
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life – Peter Ackroyd [Nan A. Talese]
Letters from a Serial Killer – Kristi Belcamino & Stephanie Kahalekulu [CreateSpace]
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin [Liveright]
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker – David J. Skal [Liveright]
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer – Kate Summerscale [Bloomsbury/Penguin]

Best Children’s/YA Novel
Snowed – Maria Alexander [Raw Dog Screaming]
The Girl I Used to Be – April Henry [Henry Holt]
Tag, You’re Dead – J.C. Lane [Poisoned Pen]
My Sister Rosa – Justine Larbalestier [Soho Teen]
The Fixes – Owen Matthews [HarperTeen]

Best Anthology
Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns – Eric Beetner, ed. [Down & Out]
In Sunlight or in Shadow – Lawrence Block, ed. [Pegasus]
Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens – Jen Conley [Down & Out]
Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – Greg Herren, ed. [Down & Out]
Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by the Replacements – Jay Stringer, ed. [Gutter]

Best Novella (8,000-40,000 words)
Cleaning Up Finn – Sarah M. Chen [CreateSpace]
No Happy Endings – Angel Luis Colón [Down & Out]
Crosswise – S.W. Lauden [Down & Out]
Beware the Shill – John Shepphird [Down & Out]
The Last Blue Glass – B.K. Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2016 [Dell]

Malice Domestic Recap 2017

Event: Malice Domestic 29
Location: Bethesda, MD
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Date: April 27 – May 1, 2017

Malice Domestic is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan DC area that celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, or excessive gore, or violence.


I had a world-wind weekend starting Thursday evening at the Edgar’s Award then Friday morning, it was onto a road trip to Bethesda with Terri Bischoff and Catriona McPherson driving making good time on the trip. We even beat some of those who took the train down who left at more or less the same time.

Upon arrival at the hotel, I was met by friends and it felt like homecoming week (and I’ve never been to one). It was great seeing friends, old and new and introducing my new housemate, Koko. She had a wonderful time hanging out with my friends, but alas, I had to ship her home earlier than planned.

The hotel has done some renovating and it showed in the room. I had a nice corner one with a hypoallergenic filter machine. What I noticed most was the many outlets in which to plug the many electronics I travel with. It was funny when I was trying to find the closet which was tucked inside the vestibule of the bathroom. On the bathroom mirror was a clock which kept the right time.

Friday afternoon was a mish mash of a day with socializing with friends, dining out and just relaxing.

On Saturday I was moderating the “What’s Your Line” panel with Mary Angela, Kate Carlisle, Mary Feliz and Sherry Harris on the panel. I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure of the questions and how it would play out. But it did and I even ran out of questions to ask and opened it up to the audience and we had great questions. We also had good laughs during our panel. When people came up to me and said our panel was good . . . that made my day. The day ended with the banquet where I had the chicken and opted for the fruit dessert (not a fan of mousse). It was a long day for me, so I crashed earlier.

On Sunday I went to breakfast with author Cathy Ace and we talked about books and marketing. Headed back to hotel for a panel before it was time to check out my room and wait for the shuttle to whisk me away to the airport. When I arrived at the airport I ran into Jessie and Terri who’s flight was moved to my gate. My flight was delayed but luckily I was able to get on a flight to LaGuardia and upon landing discovered that my luggage was still in DC. Not to worry, Koko was at another destination waiting to travel home. Luggage was delivered Monday morning and Koko was delivered Tuesday afternoon. All in all had a wonderful time and I look forward to next year’s Malice which will be in a new hotel.

This is such a wonderful convention and  I’m looking forward to next year’s Malice Domestic where it will be held in a new hotel.

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Silent auction

Author swags

Author swags

crowd shot of author signing

crowd shot of author signing

Photo courtesy of Robin Templeton

Photo courtesy of Robin Templeton

crowd shot of author signing

glass work of Cheryl Hollon’s book cover by her husband

banquet cocktail hour

Malice dessert

fruit cup

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Koko at home

MWA 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Awards

The Edgar® Awards were presented to the winners at the 71st Gala Banquet on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Winners of the 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honored the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2016. I am the recipient of the Raven Award which recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing..

The evening was very nice. My co-workers from my “Daytime Situation” attended as well as the five guests that I invited. Also attending was another friend who came all the way from Virginia to see me get this award. Thank you LynDee!

The best part was seeing the ad that my daytime situation placed in the program book and then discovering one of my favorite and nicest author/friend, Alafair Burke was doing the introduction for the award and she also wrote up the piece in the program book as well. All in all, I had a terrific and memorable evening that I will not forget.

Here is my introduction and my speech.

BEST NOVEL: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR: Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL: Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

BEST FACT CRIME: The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin

BEST SHORT STORY: “Autumn at the Automat” – In Sunlight or in Shadow by Lawrence Block

BEST JUVENILE: OCDaniel by Wesley King

BEST YOUNG ADULT: Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY: “A Blade of Grass” – Penny Dreadful, Teleplay by John Logan

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD: “The Truth of the Moment” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by E. Gabriel Flores

GRAND MASTER: Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart

RAVEN AWARD: Dru Ann Love

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD: Neil Nyren

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD: The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd

The 2017 Raven Award

Tonight (April 27, 2017) is the night that I’ve been waiting for ever since this was announced . . .

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Dru Ann Love will receive the 2017 Raven Award.

Dru Ann Love is owner/editor of dru’s book musings (https://drusbookmusing.com/), a blog where characters give a glimpse into a day in their life, as well as her musings. Her musings also appear in Crimespree Magazine. She is also a guest blogger at the Stiletto Gang. Dru Ann is an avid reader, writes poetry, quilts, and loves attending reader/fan conventions. Dru Ann’s blog was nominated for a 2015 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work. She also serves on the Bouchercon standing committee.

When told that she would receive the Raven Award, Love said, “I’m so thrilled and honored to be awarded the Raven. The mystery community is like a big family and I’m so proud that they have embraced me with open arms. Thanks to the nominating committee for selecting me and a big thanks to the authors—without them, this would not be possible.”

I’m deeply honored to be awarded this prize and I look forward to sharing this evening with you. Photos to follow after the event.

The evening starts with a gathering for the nominees followed by the cocktail hour and then the banquet. Then it’s off to the Malice Domestic Convention. A busy weekend for me and I’m loving it.

Left Coast Crime Recap 2017


Left Coast Crime 2017: Honolulu Havoc
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Hotel: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Date: March 16 – 19, 2017

Left Coast Crime is a convention of fans and authors who gather during the first quarter of the calendar year in Western North America (as defined by the Mountain Time Zone and all time zones westward to Hawaii) to celebrate crime fiction.


Aloha!

First Class – that’s how I flew from New York to Hawaii. It was recommended that I fly first class and nonstop. On the trip to Hawaii, I had a 3-hour layover in Los Angeles, this after changing my original flight on Tuesday to Monday due to a pending snow storm on the east coast. First Class is awesome on a long flight. You get to sit in their private lounge where the food is free; you get to board the plane first; you get your own overheard storage bin; you get an offer a beverage as soon as you board the plane and your meal is really, really good. But the best part is the seat…wide for those of us who are not of average size with plenty of leg room and the seat either reclines or turns into a flat bed. Nice.

After arriving Monday evening in Hawaii, my friend, Eleanor J. and I dined in the airport hotel’s restaurant where we were amused by our waiter before heading to our room for the evening. Tuesday morning Mary R. , a long-time resident of Honolulu, was our tour guide on the island.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On the first day of our trip towards the North Shore we started at Green World Coffee where we took a little walking tour (5 minutes) through their garden. Then we headed to the most magical place on the island, the Dole Plantation where we took the Pineapple express train ride (20 minutes) and sampled the Dole Whip. Then it was off to Haleiwa where we had lunch at the Breaker’s Restaurant and Bar. Next stop was Three Tables Beach and scenic views of Pupukea and then we drove by several shrimp farms in Kahuku. Then it was off to see the sea arch/cutout in the rock at La’ie Point State Wayside. Next up was the ranch at Kualoa Private Nature Reserve, where they filmed parts of Jurassic Park and King Kong. Right across the street was Chinaman’s Hat island and lastly but not least, we visited the Byodo-In Temple where we gonged the bell and saw a black swan, before heading to our final destination at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki.

Green World Coffee Farm

Dole Plantation

Three Tables Beach

La’ie Point State Wayside

Kualoa Private Nature Reserve, where they filmed parts of Jurassic Park and King Kong

Chinaman’s Hat island on Oahu Hawaii

The Byodo-In Temple

Standing near the gong at The Byodo-In Temple

 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On Day 2, we started out early from the hotel and headed to Leonard’s Bakery to get a couple of delicious Malasadas as our breakfast treat. The first tourist stop of the day was to see Dog’s the Bounty Hunter’s house in Portlock. Then we enjoyed the scenic wonders of nature that included Hawaii Kai and Koko Crater. We, along with other visitors stopped by Halona Blowhole to see it spout, but alas there wasn’t enough waves to accomplish this feat and on the opposite side is the Secret Beach, where the beach scene from the movie “From Here to Eternity” was filmed. Then off to Makapuu Beach park and then to Rabbit Island and the eastern side of island. We stopped at Waimanalo Beach for some frolicking and then drove to Kailua; and then up to Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside Lookout. We headed back to downtown Honolulu to the Iolani Palace and to King Kamehameha statue that is seen in the opening credits of Hawaii Five-O. Yes, Eleanor and I hummed the theme song as we took our photos. Our last stop of the day was up a steep and winding road to Mount Tantalus for an awesome view of the city and of Diamond Head.

Leonard’s Bakery, home of the malasadas

The door of Dog, The Bounty Hunter’s house

Koko Crater

The coastline from Lanaʻi Lookout

Secret Beach at Halona Beach Cove, Oahu, where the beach scene from the movie “From Here to Eternity” was filmed

Rabbit Island, also known as Manana Island

The view from Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside

Other view from Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside – notice the small island in foreground – that is Chinaman’s Hat Island

King Kamehameha statue that is seen in the opening credits of Hawaii Five-O

Mount Tantalus with an awesome view of the city and of Diamond Head


March 15 – 19, 2017

From the Thursday to Sunday, my time was spent watching the sunrise over the ocean, attending panels, and socializing at Left Coast Crime. On Friday was my panel: Reviewers & Critics: Are authors at their mercy? with Jen Forbus moderating a panel with Les Blatt, Daniel Boucher, me and Jane Stillwater. On Saturday we went on a whale watching tour and yep, we saw some whales. Then on Sunday before heading home, we made a detour to check out Pearl Harbor  Historic Sites.

Author speed dating round

LCC Panel: Reviewers & Critics: Are authors at their mercy?

Whale going back into the water

whale spout

LCC banquet

Pearl Harbor Historic Sites

The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii

Diamond Head – view from plane headed back home

This was a trip of a lifetime that I never thought I would take and I’m so glad that I got the chance to experience Hawaii. Mahalo!

Bouchercon Recap 2016

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Bouchercon 2016: Blood On The Bayou
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Hoteln: New Orleans Marriott
Date: September 15 – 18, 2016

Bouchercon is the world’s finest annual crime fiction event, bringing together more than 1,500 authors, fans, publishers, reviewers, booksellers, editors, and every other part of the community for a fantastic four-day event.


I arrived in New Orleans a couple of days before the start of the convention to get in some sightseeing. First on the agenda was a 2-hour highlights tour of New Orleans. We stopped at Willies for our first taste of New Orleans foods eating Chicken Fingers and it was delicious. Then onto our tour where we saw the sights and sounds of New Orleans that included a stop at St. Louis Cemetery #3, a stop in City Park where we had our first taste of beignets amid a thunderstorm and lightening. Then off to tour Katrina and it’s aftermath. Our final meal of the day was at Creole House where I had the Taste Of The Bayou which is a combination of bayou traditions: Chicken & Andouille Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffée, Red Beans & Rice and Cajun Jambalaya.

The next day we walked to the Aquarium only to find it closed. Then we took the railroad to Jackson Square. We strolled in several of the stores on our way to Café du Monde. We sat in Jackson Square Park and enjoyed the shade and then headed back to the hotel. We had lunch at Palace Café and for our evening meal, we went to Mimi’s for TAPAS. I always wanted to know what it was. I sampled the duck, salmon and broccoli, and steak; I didn’t even look at mushroom plate. Then back to hotel for conversations with other early Bouchercon attendees.

Tuesday was my day to volunteer, so I helped stack books for the Book Bazaar and was impressed with how it was set-up. Then we took a trip to Central Grocery, home of the Original Muffuletta Sandwich. A traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. Then a group of use headed to Napoleon House where I. ATE. ALLIGATOR. It was very gamey but good as I ate all of it while left the regular sausage on my plate.

Wednesday, I went on another on another 2-hour tour, this time St. Louis Cemetery #1, where we saw plenty of mausoleum and shrines. We even saw the tomb that actor Nicholas Cage has built. Then it was off the the BOLO Books soiree where we dined on appetizing snacks and imbibed Lemoncello. A good time was had by all.

Thursday was the first official day of the convention and my panel was at noon. We were given a 3-section room and I was surprised that it filled up as it did. The opening ceremony featured the guest arriving on floats. That was fun.

Saturday I attended Ellen Byron’s book launch for Body on the Bayou at Hall-Barnett Gallery where the appetizers were appetizing and the drinks flowing. Another good time was had.

I could tell you more, but I don’t remember much, but these pictures highlight my first trip to New Orleans. Enjoy!

*** SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 ***

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*** MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 ***

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*** TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 ***

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*** WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 ***

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img_2522Nicholas Cage’s tomb

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*** THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 ***

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*** FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 ***

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*** SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016 ***

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*** SOCKS ***

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Have you ever attended a reader/author convention?

Left Coast Crime Recap 2016

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Left Coast Crime 2016: The Great Cactus Caper
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: February 25 – 28, 2016

Left Coast Crime is a convention of fans and authors who gather during the first quarter of the calendar year in Western North America (as defined by the Mountain Time Zone and all time zones westward to Hawaii) to celebrate crime fiction.


It was called The Great Cactus Caper and what happened in Phoenix, of what I remember, gets recanted on this blog.

Authors, fans, booksellers, editors, librarians, publishers, oh my! Loads of fun at every corner and in every bar (okay there was only one bar, but it had many corners).

Seven hundred and counting. That’s how many were registered, which makes Left Coast Crime a shade larger than Malice and much smaller than Bouchercon. A perfect compadre to the other two major reader/author conventions.

I found the atmosphere and relaxation quotient to be a cross between the other two conferences and that’s where I coined the phrase “introvert break” because I was able to do this multiple times and not miss much of the conference.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency and it’s a beautiful hotel, nice and airy. I found the perfect spot to people watch as my friends started trickling in. Inside this hotel there were four places to eat, Networks Bar and Grill (lunch, dinner and drinks), Einstein Bros. Café (bagels), Terrace Café (breakfast) and Compass Arizona Grill (never made it up there). I mostly had breakfast at Steve’s Greenhouse Grill. Other restaurants sampled were Majerle’s Sports Grill, Seamus McCaffrey Irish Pub, Marston’s Café and I know I’m forgetting a place. All dining experiences were excellent.

I started the convention out by volunteering with book stuffing and ended with assigning guest to the dinner table for the banquet. A fun time was had with my partner, Ann Hogsett. My other volunteer responsibilities were taping the signs to the wall with the author’s name prior to their signing time.

The next day was the start of the conference and I was more or less prepared for the panel I was sitting on, but before that, I enjoyed the several panels that I did attend which started with Author Speed IMG_2051Dating and ended with the Opening Ceremonies and Welcome Reception. Ran into several friends and had gabfests and just had a relaxing day of the convention. Then it was time for my panel and I had a good time sitting up on the dais with a nice group of friends. It is always a delight to see friends in the audience – sort of tampered down the nervousness. PANEL: Fans and Reviewers Talk Their Favorite Books with Bill Fitzhugh moderating and panelists: Katrina Niidas Holm, Lesa Holstine, Dru Ann Love and Lucinda Surber. The day ended in the bar.

The next day was another day of panels that started with the Continental Breakfast featuring Debut Writers and ended with the Have Your Cake and Murder Too Dessert Reception. I also attended the Meet the Canucks Reception where we had to get the answers from the Canadian authors and correct answers won a prize. I got a copy of Unreasonable Doubt by Vicki Delany. I also signed up for the author/reader connection with Seventh Street Sleuths authors: Lori Rader-Day, James W. Ziskin, Jennifer Kincheloe, Lynne Raimondo, and Terry Shames at the Hyatt Regency Network Bar & Grill. I had a good time gabbing and listening to all that was around me. The day ended in the bar.

Saturday, once again started with the Discover Mystery Breakfast hosted by Poisoned Pen Press. Ann and I IMG_2127table hosted for Tina Whittle who was under the weather. Saturday was also the day I was moderating the PANEL: The Making of a Cozy Murder: What defines a cozy? with Ritter Ames, Donna Andrews, Carolyn Greene and Camille Minichino sitting on the dais. It was a good panel and I started out nervous but felt good when it was over.

Then the rest of the day was spent, yet again, attending panels, eating, drinking and volunteering. This was also the night of the banquet where the Lefty Awards was given out and it was fun. I sat at Cindy Brown and Kate Dyer-Seeley table and we played a few games and took pictures with our masks. They also had an auction prior to the awards and it was fun listening to the bids, I believe one item went for $2,000.

Then it was time to give out the awards: Donna Andrews won the Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel; Rhys Bowen won the Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel; Gigi Pandian won the Lefty for Best LCC Regional Mystery Novel and Louise Penny won the Lefty for Best World Mystery Novel. And once again, the day ended in the bar.

The last day of a fun-filled weekend comes to a close with the usual dining, gabfest and the Closing Panel Interview with Guests of Honor. Then it was time to say goodbye until the next time. The day did not end in the bar.

The pictures will tell you how much fun was had at my first Left Coast Crime convention.

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Thank you for reading about my wonderful time at Left Coast Crime. Have you attended a reader/author convention before?

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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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