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I just returned home a couple of days ago from a trip east–to two wonderful writers’ events.
One was Malice Domestic, in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s themed around traditional mysteries, and both authors and fans attend. There are dinners and panels and Agatha Awards and more! I was on a panel called Must Love Dogs–obviously featuring authors with pet mysteries. My wonderful co-panelists were Sparkle Abbey (two delightful women who write under one pseudonym that is–what else?–the names of their pets!), Esri Allbritten, and Neil S. Plakcy. It was really fun and we got to talk about not only our books but our dogs, too.

That was followed by the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, which was presented by the Mystery Lovers Bookshop. It began with a library tea, followed by a massive book sales event where authors are introduced and lots of mysteries are sold. A highlight this year was the introduction of the store’s new owner. The current owners, a wonderful and dedicated couple, had gone public a couple of months ago about looking for a buyer. In these days when so many bookstores, both independents and major chains, are going out of business, I feared the worst–possibly the end of that store. But, no–they found a buyer who seems perfect! She’s a former Texas librarian and bookseller with family ties to the Pittsburgh area. She was at both the tea and the Festival meeting authors and seeing how the current owners ran the event. That makes me hopeful that not only the store, but the Festival of Mystery, will continue in the future.

For the moment, I have some time to breathe–and to write–before my next major conference, the Romance Writers of America National Conference. More minor events–well, they never stop. In fact, I’m looking forward to the Pasadena LitFest next weekend. Unfortunately it conflicts with the OCC meeting. It was rescheduled after being rained out (!) in March.

Oh, and I can’t resist mentioning that it’s May–and I’m part of Read Humaneâ„¢ this month! A new version of my first Pet Rescue Mystery BEAGLEMANIA has recently been printed with the Read Humane seal on it. Read Humane is a special program created by Penguin Group (USA) Inc., parent of Berkley Prime Crime. Penguin has made a substantial donation to the Humane Society of The United States® in support of its Animal Rescue Team, and is also shipping 50,000 books starring furry friends, both dogs and cats, which encourage readers to learn more and donate to the Humane Society and its Animal Rescue Team. Participating authors besides me include Rebecca M. Hale, Alison Pace, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly–and I’m especially excited to report that the Read Humane spokesperson is Nora Roberts.

How about you–any conferences or other exciting events in your recent past or future? Will you be attending RWA National?

4 Comments

  • Anonymous
    on May 7, 2012

    Linda, I totally ripped a page out of your blogging book and ended my blog with a question to the reader. Thanks for the inspiration. It works beautifully!

    And Lyndi, I'm a fellow Pennsylvanian, from Scranton. Opposite corners of the Keystone State.

  • Anonymous
    on May 7, 2012

    Glad you had a good time, Linda. Pittsburgh is my home town, but I haven't been there in decades. Probably wouldn't recognize it now.

    I will be at RWA this year and I'll see you on Saturday.

  • Anonymous
    on May 7, 2012

    Thabnks, Geralyn! Yes, I did see some of those movies and enjoyed them.

  • Anonymous
    on May 6, 2012

    Wow – Linda – your trips back east sound charming and right out of a Mystery Woman movie. Did you ever catch that series of cozy tv movies on the Hallmark Channel about a small bookstore owner who always had a mystery to solve? There were 11 movies in all, starring Kellie Martin.

    And I LOVE that you are an active contributor to Read Humane! Everyday, you help make the world a better and safer place for animals – thanks for helping spread the love!

    -Geralyn

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