Category Archives: Contests

Bouchercon World Mystery Convention

I normally write something about writing in general or about my life in my blog, but this month I hope my publisher will pardon the account of my adventure of the last several days.

Bouchercon, the annual world mystery convention, this year began Wednesday, September 5th and ended early Sunday afternoon at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is named for Anthony Boucher (rhymes with voucher), famous writer, reviewer and editor, is held each year in a different city and is organized by a group of volunteers. The authors represented are literally from all over the world.

The people who attend are fans, authors, agents, publishers, booksellers, and other people who enjoy reading mystery and crime fiction. This year we numbered almost 2,000. The first Bouchercon was held in Santa Monica, California in 1970 and there have been others in New York, NY; Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; Anchorage, AK; Austin, TX; Madison, WI; Washington, D.C.; Denver, CO; Toronto, Canada; to mention just a few.

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announces the Barry Awards each year at the Bouchercon opening ceremonies. This year those prizes went to:

Best Novel: The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

Best First Novel: The Dry by Jane Harper

Best Paperback Original: The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens

Best Thriller: Unsub by Meg Gardiner

Attendees of the convention register and receive a book bag filled with books from publishers along with a Bouchercon book which contains ads for books and author’s biographies complete with photos, so we can recognize authors we don’t know by face, a schedule of events, maps of the hotel so we can find our way to various panels, Guests of Honors’ biographies and a listing of candidates and their books for the prestigious Anthony Awards which is announced at an awards ceremony on Saturday night.

Each day we all traipse to different panels that might be of interest covering all sorts of subjects. Some are funny, some are about the craft of writing, some are about helpful thoughts or experiences authors have had and are eager to share. After the panels, we rush to the book signing area to get authors to sign books we have purchased in the on-site book store and often to get a photo taken with said author.

In between all this, there are times when we may see an author we admire sitting in an alcove in the lobby area. They are always so friendly and willing to talk and share their experiences. It’s just amazing how giving mystery authors are.

The Guests of Honor this year were:

American Guests of Honor: Sean Chercover and Karin Slaughter

International Guests of Honor: Mark Billingham and Sara Blaedel

Lifetime Achievement (And Not Done Yet) Honoree: Ian Rankin

Toastmaster: Lisa Unger

Florida Guest of Honor: Tim Dorsey

Fan Guest of Honor: Judy Bobalik and Ayo Onatade

Ghost of Honor: John D. MacDonald

This Years’s Charity: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

 

And the nominees for the Anthony Award were:  (Winners in bold print)

Best Novel: 

  Bluebird Bluebird by  Attica Locke

The Force  by Don Winslow

Glass Houses  by Louise Penny

The late Show  by Michael Connelly

 Magpie Murder  by Anthony Horowitz

 

Best first Novel:

The Dry  by Jane Harper

Hollywood Homicide  by Kellye Garrett

The Last Place You Look  by Kristen Lepionka

Ragged; or, The Lovliest Lies of All  by Christopher Irvin

She Rides Shotgun  by Jordan Harper

 

Best Paperback Original: 

Bad Boy Boogie  by Thomas Pluck

Cast the First Stone  by James W. Ziskin

The Day I Died  by Lori Rader-Day

  Uncorking a Lie  by Nadine Nettman

What We Reckon  by Eryk Pruitt

 

Best Critical or Nonfiction Book:

Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson

From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon by Mattias  Boström

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

  Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction by Jessica Lourey

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards

 

Best Short Story

  “God’s Gonna Cut You Down  by Jen Conley

“My Side of the Matter”  by Hilary Davidson

“A Necessary Ingredient” by Art Taylor

“The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place” by Debra Goldstein

“The Trial of Madame Pelletier”  by Susanna Calkins

“ Whose Wine Is It Anyway” by barb Goffman

 

Best Anthology

Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea- Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks, Editors

Just to Watch Then Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash-Joe Clifford, Editor

Killing Maimon-Dan & Kate Maimon, editors

 The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir-Gary Phillips, editor

Passport to Murder, Bouchercon Anthology 2017-John McFetridge, editor

 

Best Online Content

  BOLO Books

Do Some Damage: An Inside Look at Crime Fiction

Dru’s Book Musings

Jungle Red Writers

Writer Types Podcast

 

Bill Crider Award for Best Novel in a Series

Dangerous Ends (Pete Fernandez #3)  by Alex Sequra

Give Up the Dead (Jay Porter #3)  by Joe Clifford

Glass Houses (Armand Gamache #13)  by Louise Penny

Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch#20)  by Michael Connelly

  Y is for Yesterday ( Kinsey Millhone #25)  by Sue Grafton

 

All in all, Bouchercon this year was another exhilarating and exhausting few days of events. It was wonderful seeing old friends and making new ones, finding authors I had not read before and connecting with established ones, seeing some getting their well-earned rewards and being disappointed for others. And for you, dear readers, perhaps I’ve given you some names of authors to try for the first time. Next year Dallas, Texas will be the host city. Until then…

 

 

Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.

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Catch a Falling Star and See What Ebook You Won!

August is the month of falling stars. Catch one of our stars, and you will win a free ebook!

Each number on the stars above represents a Second Wind novel — even numbers for romance and chick lit; odd numbers for mystery, mainstream, science fiction, and adventure. So, do you feel lucky?

Since these are only virtual stars, you simply pick a number from 1 to 50 and post it as a comment below this article or email it to us at secondwindpublishing @ gmail.com (no spaces before and after the @, of course). We will send you a coupon for a free download of the ebook assigned to that number. The book might not change your life, but it will make your summer shine. (You can pick a number someone else already chose, they don’t all have to be different numbers. One number per person, please.)

Best of luck to you!

Offer ends August 15, 2013.

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Catch a Beach Ball and See What Ebook You Won!

It’s June already! The sun is shining, the beaches are open, the sand is warm, and we’re celebrating with a giveaway. Catch a beach ball and win a free ebook! Each number represents a Second Wind novel — even numbers for romance and chick lit; odd numbers for mystery, mainstream, and adventure. So, do you feel lucky? Choose a number!

balls copySince these are only virtual beach balls, you simply pick a number from 1 to 40 and post it as a comment below this article or email it to us at secondwindpublishing @ gmail.com (no spaces before and after the @, of course). We will send you a coupon for a free download of the ebook assigned to that number. The book might not change your life, but it will make your summer even sunnier. (You can pick a number someone else already chose, they don’t all have to be different numbers. One number per person, please.)

Best of luck to you!

Offer ends June 15, 2013.

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Pick a Flower and See What Ebook You Won!

It’s the lovely month of May, and we’re celebrating with a giveaway. Pick a flower and win a free ebook! Each number represents a Second Wind novel — even numbers for romance and chick lit; odd numbers for mystery, mainstream, and adventure. So, do you feel lucky? Choose a number!

Mayflowers-2

Since these are only virtual flowers, you simply pick a number from 1 to 45 and post it as a comment below this article or email it to us at secondwindpublishing @ gmail.com (no spaces before and after the @, of course). We will send you a coupon for a free download of the ebook assigned to that number. The book might not change your life, but it will make the month of May even lovelier. (You can pick a number someone else already chose, they don’t all have to be different numbers. One number per person, please.)

Best of luck to you!

Offer ends May 15, 2013.

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Free Inscribed Copy of A Retrospect in Death

American poet, novelist, travel writer and editor, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, wrote, “All the best sands of my life are somehow getting into the wrong end of the hourglass. If I could only reverse it! Were it in my power to do so, would I?”

J. Conrad Guest and cigar

J. Conrad Guest and cigar

I use this quote in the opening of Part One: Old Age in my new novel, A Retrospect in Death, which I finished writing two years ago. It’s a quote that has stayed with me since I discovered it, and I confess that it inspired me during the months it took me to complete that project. A Retrospect in Death is largely a story about regret over missed opportunities, poor choices, and avoiding risk.

I asked my father, shortly before he passed away, if he had any regrets. He laughed and told me, “Hell, yes. No one gets out of this life without them.”

In my youth, I once took a spill from a bike (not my own) that I was riding too fast. I banged my ankle hard, but after making sure I wasn’t seriously hurt, Dad scolded me for riding too fast a bike that was too big for me. The lesson I came away with was to avoid risk.

But life is a risk, largely lived by faith: that our next breath is promised, and when we tell our loved one, as we leave the house for work in the morning, that we’ll see them at the end of the day are but two examples of such faith. There are many things we risk: a change of job, the purchase of a new car or home, our heart to love; these are fairly standard risks. Yet some risk driving down a freeway at nearly twice the posted speed limit, while others risk their paycheck at the track, or their marriage for a sexual thrill.

The key is finding the happy medium. Who wants to get to the end of their life and wonder, Why didn’t I do this or that? I’ve heard too many stories of people who lived miserly, squirreling away their money for retirement, waiting for the day they could take that trip to Hawaii only to die young, before they ever had a chance to sample some of life’s simpler pleasures. Then, there are those who live life hard and fast, from paycheck to paycheck, who retire penniless, to become a burden to their children.

I have more than a few regrets, and working on A Retrospect in Death brought a few of them to the surface. As my work progressed, I thought more and more about that last part in Bailey’s quote: “If I could only reverse it! Were it in my power to do so, would I?”

By the time I typed The End, I knew the answer. All the best sands of my life might very well be in the wrong end of the hourglass, but I wouldn’t be here, writing these words, if not for the life I lived. I’ve made some poor choices along the way, took some risks I never thought I would while playing it perhaps too safe in other aspects of my life. But those poor choices, the risks I took and failed to take, all led me here, to this place, which is not such a bad place. Yesterday is past, and tomorrow … well, take it from John Wayne: “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes in to us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands and hopes we’ve learnt something from yesterday.”

But what about you? If you were granted the chance for a do-over, would you grab it to live your life over again, avoiding the mistakes you made the first time, grabbing at those opportunities you previously let slip through your grip, risking where before you played it safe?

Please consider leaving a comment in response to that question. After a few days, I’ll select one comment, or maybe more than one, to receive an inscribed copy of A Retrospect in Death, once it launches.

J. Conrad Guest, author of: Backstop: A Baseball Love Story In Nine Innings, January’s Paradigm, One Hot January, January’s Thaw, and A Retrospect in Death (forthcoming)

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Pick a Shamrock and See What Ebook You Won!

Pick a shamrock and win a free ebook! Each number represents a Second Wind novel — even numbers for romance and chick lit; odd numbers for mystery, mainstream, and adventure. So, do you feel lucky? Choose a number!

shamrocksbb copy

Since these are only virtual shamrocks, you simply pick a number from 1 to 40 and post it as a comment below this article or email it to us at secondwindpublishing @ gmail.com (no spaces before and after the @, of course). We will send you a coupon for a free download of the ebook assigned to that number. The book might not change your life, but it will help while away the time until good fortune finds you. (You can pick a number someone else already chose, they don’t all have to be different numbers.)

Best of luck to you!

Offer ends March 24, 2013.

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A Valentine’s Day Gift from Second Wind and Cupid

This Valentine’s Day, Second Wind Publishing is celebrating romance with an ebook giveaway. If you have not yet shot cupid’s arrow to get your romance ebook, click on the target  and it will take you to the game where we will give you what you want this Valentine’s day — romance, tender sentiments, and true love. The rules are simple, we promise. And everyone wins!

valentine

Best of love to you!

Offer ends February 17, 2013.

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Shoot Cupid’s Arrow and See What Ebook You Won!

Shoot cupid’s arrow and win a free romance ebook! Each number represents a Second Wind romance novel, so any number you choose will give you what you want this Valentine’s day — romance, tender sentiments, and true love. So do you feel romantic? Choose a number!

valentine

Since this is only a virtual arrow, you decide what number the arrow landed on. Just pick a number from one to twenty and post it as a comment below this article or email it to us at secondwindpublishing @ gmail.com (no spaces before and after the @, of course). We will send you a coupon for a free download of the ebook assigned to that number. The book might not change your life, but it will help while away the time until true love finds you. (You can pick a number someone else already chose; they don’t all have to be different numbers.)

If you prefer instant romance, click on the row of hearts, and it will take you to a free Second Wind ebook you can immediately download in the format of your choice, including Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, Palm Pilot.

hearts

If you need a double dose of romance, you are welcome to do both — shoot cupid’s arrow and choose instant romance.

Best of love to you!

Offer ends February 17, 2013.

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Ebook Giveaway!

If you have not yet spun the wheel of fortune to win a free ebook from Second Wind Publishing, click on the wheel, and it will take you to the game. The rules are simple, we promise. And everyone wins!

colorwheel

Best of luck to you!

Offer ends January 15, 2013.

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Spin Our Wheel of Fortune and See What Ebook You Won!

Spin the wheel of fortune and win a free ebook! Each number represents a Second Wind novel — even numbers for romance and chick lit; odd numbers for mystery, mainstream, and adventure. So, do you feel lucky? Choose a number!

colorwheel

Since this is only a virtual spinning wheel, you decide what number you landed on. Just pick a number from the wheel and post it as a comment below this article or email it to us at secondwindpublishing @ gmail.com (no spaces before and after the @, of course). We will send you a coupon for a free download of the ebook. The book might not change your life, but it will help while away the time until good fortune finds you. (You can pick a number someone else already chose, they don’t all have to be different numbers.)

If you prefer instant good fortune, click on a fortune cookie, and it will take you to a free Second Wind ebook  that you can immediately download in the format of your choice, including Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, Palm Pilot.

CookieCookieCookieCookieCookie

If you need a double dose of good luck, you are welcome to do both — choose a number from the wheel of fortune and open a fortune cookie.

Best of luck to you!

Offer ends January 15, 2013.

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