Ozarks Indie Book Fest Disaster

After attending an event called Penned Con for the past two years, I have to admit I was pretty stoked when I heard something similar was being planned for Springfield, Missouri.  Penned Con is a well-organized event where authors purchase tables to sell their books, and readers purchase tickets to meet them and buy books.  Add to that several activities for readers and authors and the whole thing was sure to be a win-win for all involved.

Unfortunately, Ozarks Indie Book Fest was nothing like Penned Con. Although we’d heard the organizers had been planning this for two years,  the comparison between the two charity events was staggering.  Something was off from the very beginning. Authors were told to check in on Thursday night from three to five.  But not one of the organizers arrived until after five thirty.  The next morning proved even more chaotic.  Authors had already been assigned their tables and told when to arrive. However upon our arrival we were told we should have checked our emails because the times had changed as well as the table arrangements.  Since many of us were setting up at 7 AM, we’d left our homes early to be there in time and did not have time to check email prior to arrival.

Once everyone was set up and ready for the deluge of readers to enter the room, Jaci Chaney, the organizer, announced that she’d mistakenly placed her trust in someone who betrayed her. The treasurer for the event had apparently withdrawn all money from their account. The hotel where the event was to take place allowed the event to continue on the first day, but the second day was moved to The Library Center. This meant that readers who had purchased tickets no longer needed them because The Library Center was free to everyone.

I recall asking Ms. Chaney if she’d be doing something similar in the future. Her response? Well, several of the authors want me to.

Seriously? Not this author. I doubt too many of the authors I know will be interested either. Too bad because this should have been something fun for everyone involved. Instead it turned out to be a disaster.

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Ghost Hunt Anyone?

I  admit to being a huge fan of the now defunct series, Ghost Hunters with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. Although I stopped watching when Grant left the show, my interest in the paranormal never waned.

When The Pythian Castle, in my hometown, launched a ghost hunt for interested parties, my sister and I immediately signed up.  We weren’t disappointed.

The evening started with the attendees being taken on a tour of the castle where we were told about past sightings and electronic voice phenomena (EVP). At one time, we did experience some footsteps as if someone was running through the tunnel.

But the most impressive part was a few weeks after we returned home and began looking at the photos we’d taken.

If you look closely to the left of this photo you’ll see a figure. Neither my sister nor I remember seeing anything sitting in that spot during the tour. The entire tour was seated with us in the middle of this room.

See what you think.

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FIRST PRIZE in A-Z Contest

That’s A Winner!

I love writing short stories. My first writing sale was a short mini-mystery for Woman’s World Magazine. Although I’ve added novels to my writing repertoire, short story writing remains a favorite of mine.

No one was more surprised than me when I learned I’d won a short story contest from The Springfield Writer’s Guild in September. The grand prize? A Kindle Fire! I was in Nashville for my first Killer Nashville Conference when I saw the announcement on Facebook.

The contest rules were simple and fun. The contestants were told to write a story where each sentence began with a subsequent letter of the alphabet. Since mystery is my genre of choice, I named my story The ABC’s of Murder.

It took me two weeks to get the words right. Before hitting the send button, I went back and re-read the directions. Twenty six sentences? Why hadn’t I seen that before? I went back and cut the story down to the bones so that only twenty six sentences remained. Only the facts, ma’am, as the saying goes. I will admit to having a few run-on sentences. Give me a break. Some things just have to be said.

Wanna read my winning story?



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