Friday, March 13, 2009


Has it been almost a whole year? I remember, so vividly it almost brings tears to my eyes, the moment this photo was taken. And before that, the moment my name (and Prime Time) was called as winner of the Agatha for Best First. I can tell you my life has not been the same sine. And there’s not a moment I’m not grateful.

So, as my Agatha year ticks away, here’s a photo of me and Best Novel winner Louise Penny. There were not two happier people on the planet at that moment.

Now you’re asking: why why why are you posting a photo of yourself? Well, I say, it’s to give you all license to talk about your own Agatha stuff.

Are you a nominee? And want to shout it to everyone? Please, go ahead.
Tell us about your book. Or about yourself. A short paragraph? Your elevator pitch? How you felt when you got the call? This is your day.

Of course we’re thrilled and delighted about the nominations for our own Rosemary Harris for Pushing Up Daisies,
and Rhys Bowen for A Royal Pain, but more about that another day.

Today, we say, go for it.
Have a short story link you want to post?

Have a web link you’d like people to check out?
It’s BSP without Fear Day on Jungle Red.


  1. Congratulations, Rosemary and Rhys! Best of luck to both of you.

    Now, please answer Hank's

    BTW, Hank, I met Ro last year at Mystery Lovers Bookshop's Festival. I mentioned I read the JRW blog and she started bouncing. And then exclaiming, "Hank won! Did you hear that Hank won! Yeah, Hank won!"

    I hope we can say the same about her this year.

    Paula Matter

  2. It's true...I was absolutely thrilled for Hank! This year I've got some other pals who are nominated - amost afraid to name them in case I inadvertantly forget someone...Jane, Chris, Dana, Toni, Donna and all of the other rookies. It's really so exciting..I've been thinking they should give all the nominees teacups (instead of the teapot) because it feels as if we've already won something!
    (and thanks for the crossed fingers, Paula!)

  3. Here? Now?? Sure.

    I remember Hank's moment too--and my first response was, yes! Well deserved!

    The problem this year is that the nominees are all good writers--and friends. Too bad we can't share.

    The funny thing about the Agatha call was that the caller asked for Sarah Atwell. Who? Oh, right, my alter ego. She doesn't get a lot of phone calls, so it took me a moment to respond.

    Elevator pitch: In Through a Glass, Deadly, Tucson glassblower Em Dowell has a sharp tongue and a soft heart. She doesn't take guff (the polite version) from anyone, so when a new-found friend of hers is threatened by Chicago thugs, she has to do something. Luckily there's an Australian diamond miner in the picture who lends a hand, not to mention her sometimes-boyfriend, Tucson's chief of police.

    For more details, check out Sarah's website,

    I am thrilled to be on a list with such a great group of writers.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


    Winners of Harley Jane Kozak's new book, done by the names in a hat method:




    Myblog 2.0 Dottie

    Arkansas Cyndi

    Just go to my website

    click on contact

    and let me know your address!!


    We now return you to BSP.

  6. Ro! What a great idea. I think teacups would be lovely for the nominees.

    I was there last year, too, when Hank won. She was very elegant and most gracious.

    And now for that BSP. Sophie Winston and Natasha (one name, please, like Cher) have a long-running friendly rivalry. Sophie loves to entertain, but she believes in keeping things simple and charming. Natasha thinks she’s the Martha of the South and cannot understand why everyone doesn’t grow herbs, craft their own invitations, and cook elaborate meals from scratch. To make matters worse, Natasha has taken up housekeeping with Sophie’s ex-husband. In The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, they’re competing for a coveted prize in the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. But before Sophie can prove that she can trump Natasha with her Crusty Country Bread, Bacon & Herb Stuffing, Sophie stumbles over a corpse and lands on the police radar as a suspect in his death. The quiet family Thanksgiving that Sophie had planned swells to unexpected proportions when she’s saddled with neighbors and her former in-laws for dinner. Uncomfortable as that is, it’s not nearly as bad as suspecting that the killer is among them.

    I'm so honored to have been nominated and it's even more special to be in such wonderful company.

    Thanks for the opportunity to post BSP without fear, Hank!

  7. I'm loving this. I don't write mysteries, but I do read them, so these BSPs are nice little teasers for Spring Break reading, which starts in 5...4 ...3....2....1 ....

  8. Hank, Count me in! My biography of Anthony Boucher (aptly titled Anthony Boucher) was nominated for the Best Non-fiction Agatha. I'm thrilled about it and have my fingers crossed.

  9. It's been two years since I won an Agatha for Best Short Story, and not many days go by without my admiring my teapot. Being a nominee for "Sleeping With the Plush" kept me grinning for the entire time between nominations were announced and the Agatha banquet. And winning? Well, so far it's two years, and I'm still grinning like an idiot.

    This year I've been nominated for the short story Agatha again, so now I'm grinning double time. No, make that triple time: nominee Dana Cameron's story was in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, an anthology I co-edited with Charlaine Harris, so that's worth an extra smile or three.

    Once particular benefit of being a short story nominee is the opportunity to post the stories online. All five are up on the web right now, so go take a look:

    "The Night Things Changed" by Dana Cameron
    Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (Penguin Group)

    "Killing Time" by Jane Cleland
    Alfred Hitchock Mystery Magazine - November 2008

    "Dangerous Crossing" by Carla Coupe
    Chesapeake Crimes 3 (Wildside Press)

    "Skull and Cross-Examinations" by Toni L.P. Kelner
    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - February 2008

    "A Nice Old Guy" by Nancy Pickard
    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2008

  10. Thanks, Toni! This is perfect...the links are great.

    Hi Jeffrey and Krista!


    Andrew McAleer is giving away a copy of each of his books--Mystery Writing in a Nutshell, and 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists.

    We'll pick winners from the comments Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday--so there's still time to enter!

  11. Hank, was it really a YEAR ago? That's amazing! How time flies.

    I'm an Agatha-Nominee for Best First Novel, and two of my good buds, Ro and G.M. are too. I'm pleased to be getting to know Sheila and Krista now as well.

    Paper, Scissors, Death is the story of Kiki Lowenstein, a young "soccer" mom whose life is turned upside-down when her husband is found in a hotel room dead and...naked. Her next piece of bad news? He's "borrowed" a half a million dollars from his company! Kiki sells everything she owns, and to support herself and her eleven-year-old daughter Anya, takes a job in a scrapbooking store. From there, she plays amateur sleuth.

    My book is funny like Janet Evanovich, romantic like Nora Roberts and full of the joy of women's friendships like Debbie Macomber.

    An excerpt booklet is available at

    My website is

  12. Wow! Congrats to everyone and best of luck. There are times I wish one of my mysteries had been sold before my paranormal. Maybe someday. :)

    Until then, may you all tie!

  13. Thanks, Joanna! And your book is terrific. This is an amazing year, and I'm so grateful to know and love you all.

    And yes, Silver. Ties forever. Great idea.

    Love it.

    Harley Jane Kozak book winners--let me know. I've not heard from everyone.

    Andrew McAleer contenders..theres just an hour or so left to comment!

  14. Hank, if I had won Harley's book, you'd have my address, phone number, SSN, bank routing number by now...

    Paula Matter who wishes she could do the 'very big grin' tag on some of her posts so people will recognize her smartassedness. Yes, it's a word.

  15. I thought I was having a good Sunday because I'd had apple pancakes that morning...then I got the call about the Agatha nomination for "The Night Things Changed" for best short story. To say I was gobsmacked, pleased, and honored is the understatement of the year.

    You can find the story at my blog at (or at the url Toni posted).

    It's only fair I recall a fond memory of when Toni won, two years ago. I was sitting at her table, and when her name was called, her husband Steve and I both yelled "YES!" and high-fived. Or we tried to--we both missed each other's hands completely. Cool--no way. Enthusiasm--you bet!

    Congratulations to all the nominees, and thanks to JRW for inviting the BSP!

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