Friday, June 22, 2018

Writer's Block Bookstore and Quantum Leap Winery present Kevin Begos

Wine, Wisdom and Words Reading Series
Location: Quantum Leap Winery
1312 Wilfred Drive, Orlando FL
Date: July 26, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm
Writer’s Block Bookstore
124 E. Welbourne Avenue, Winter Park, Florida


Writer’s Block Bookstore, in partnership with Quantum Leap Winery, is delighted to announce oenologist and MIT Journalism Fellow Kevin Begos as part of our Wine ◊ Wisdom ◊ Words series. Join us on Thursday, July 26th at 6:30PM for a discussion, Q&A and Kevin will sign his book as we dive into the history, flavors, and origins of wine.

About the book: Discover the hidden life of wine with journalist Kevin Begos as he embarks on a ten-year journey to seek the origins of wine. He unearths a whole world of forgotten grapes, each with distinctive tastes and aromas, as well as the archaeologists, geneticists, chemists—even a paleobotanist—who are deciphering wine down to molecules of flavor. Begos offers readers drinking suggestions that go far beyond the endless bottles of Chardonnay and Merlot found in most stores and restaurants. In this viticultural detective story, wine geeks and history lovers alike will discover new tastes and flavors to savor.

About the author: Kevin Begos is a former MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow whose stories and research have appeared in major newspapers and other publications, including Scientific AmericanHarper'sSalon, the Christian Science MonitorUSA Today, and The New York Times. He reviews books for the Associated Press and is a former AP correspondent.

About Quantum Leap Winery: Quantum Leap is a local winery with a global reach and sustainable focus, and the only sustainable winery in Orlando. Committed to bringing quality, environmentally-friendly wines at a great value to the community. Quantum Leap is open for tastings, tours, and retail wine purchases Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 to 8PM—and is also a great venue for private events!

About Writer's Block Bookstore: We are Central Florida’s local, full-service, independent community bookstore, in beautiful downtown Winter Park. Serving the Orlando area since 2014, we have all your favorites, New York Times best-sellers, and Indie Next picks. We host author events, monthly book clubs, coordinate author school visits and offer discounts for educators and loyalty club members.

Book Fair at West Melbourne Library presented by Authors for Authors

Authors for Authors will host a book fair at the West Melbourne Library on Saturday, July 28, 2018, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The West Melbourne Library is located at 2755 Wingate Blvd, West Melbourne, FL 32904. The theme of the book fair is Red, White, and Blue Books for You!

The book fair is free and open to the public. Readers are urged to come and meet local authors who will autograph and discuss their books. Children's book authors will have activities that tie into their stories and encourage reading.

Authors for Authors has been providing venues to showcase local authors in Brevard County for ten years. They also host the Meet the Authors Book Fair on November 17 and 18, 2018, at the Eau Gallie Civic Center and the Writers' Conference: Write, Publish, Sell! at the Hilton Rialto in April 2019. For more information contact Valerie Allen at

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

You're Invited to Writer's Block Bookstore and Quantum Leap Winery's ARC Party

Wine, Wisdom and Words Reading Series
Location: Quantum Leap Winery
1312 Wilfred Drive, Orlando FL
Date: Wednesday, June 27th, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm
Writer’s Block Bookstore
124 E. Welbourne Avenue, Winter Park, Florida


Writer’s Block Bookstore is delighted to partner with Quantum Leap Winery to throw a party on Wednesday, June 27th at 6:30PM. The entry fee of $5.00 comes with a glass of wine and a free ARC, or advanced reader copy! All subsequent glasses of wine are bar price, and each glass is accompanied by another ARC. Come pick up your new fall favorites—and get the inside scoop on upcoming bestsellers, hot titles, and indie books! Click here to RSVP at

What is an ARC? An advanced reader copy is an uncorrected proof of a new book given to certain people before publication. Writer's Block Bookstore receives ARCs from major publishers like Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and we want to share them with you.

About the Wine ◊ Wisdom ◊ Words series: Writer’s Block Bookstore, in partnership with Quantum Leap Winery, brings you a new speaker series highlighting bestselling authors paired with unique, sustainable wines.

About Quantum Leap Winery: Quantum Leap is a local winery with a global reach and sustainable focus, and the only sustainable winery in Orlando. Committed to bringing quality, environmentally-friendly wines at a great value to the community. Quantum Leap is open for tastings, tours, and retail wine purchases Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 to 8PM—and is also a great venue for private events!

About Writer's Block Bookstore: We are Central Florida’s local, full-service, independent community bookstore, in beautiful downtown Winter Park. Serving the Orlando area since 2014, we have all your favorites, New York Times best-sellers, and Indie Next picks. We host author events, monthly book clubs, coordinate author school visits and offer discounts for educators and loyalty club members.

Adopted Floridian Published in Award-Winning Flagler Review Journal

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s poem from her unpublished chapbook Nushu and Other Silenced Voices, “The Writing Woman” will be published in the next issue of Flagler University’s Flagler Review (FLARE .
The poem, from Howard-Johnson’s unpublished Nushu and Other Silenced Voices,encapsulates the chapbook’s theme with these lines, from the prologue poem, “The Writing Woman:” 
Must our skin or religion be the same 
to know the clockworks 
of our fellows. Does being the same 
let us see in focus or does it force 
FLARE, the literary magazine of Flagler College has published a print edition of poetry, fiction, art and nonfiction every fall for more than a quarter century. It also has published an online edition since 2104. It won first place in the College Media Association’s  2015-16 Pinnacle College Media Award and Four-Year Literary Magazine of the Year, College Media Association’s 2015-16 Pinnacle College Media Awards and was a  third place, Four-Year Literary Magazine of the Year in 2014-15.To read the online edition or learn about submitting work, visit:
Flagler was founded in 1968 in historic St. Augustine, FL. On 19 acres, the centerpiece of which is the Ponce de León Hotel, built in 1888 as a luxury hotel. The architects were John Carrere and Thomas Hastings, working for Henry Morrison Flagler, the industrialist, oil magnate and railroad pioneer. 

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s poetry appears frequently in review journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers highly respected catalog of poets and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings (, published by Finishing Line Press was given the Award of Excellence by the Military Writers Society of America. She is an award-winning novelist and short story writer, was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts, and honored by members of the California Legislature as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment.

You’ll find more information on her poetry at
Download a media kit for Howard-Johnson from the media room at

Richard Wickliffe to speak at the July 2018 Florida Chapter, Mystery Writers of America Luncheon Meeting

DATE: July 21, 2018 Florida Chapter, Mystery Writers of America Luncheon Meeting
GUEST SPEAKER: Richard Wickliffe

PROGRAM: Perils and Payoffs: The Risky Business of Researching for Fiction

Program: Is the world-weary detective or P.I. in crime novels becoming cliché? Learn about a type of sleuth that has no jurisdictional limits to investigate a wide range of creative crimes. From Russian mob, to human smuggling, to art heists, to cybercrimes. And this little-publicized world is in our own backyard.

Speaker: Richard Wickliffe was awarded gold for Best Popular Fiction at the Florida Book Awards for his last thriller Storm Crashers, which was previously optioned by Twentieth Century Fox. “Rich” enjoys speaking about creative crimes including the FBI's InfraGard Counterterrorism seminars and conferences in Vegas committed to accuracy in crime writing. He is the recipient of the FBI's Exceptional Service in the Public Interest Award.

For over twenty years, Rich has managed a team of investigators for one of the nation’s largest insurers. His published articles cover a range from human smuggling from Cuba; Russian organized crime operating false clinics and staged accidents; cybercrimes and other creative schemes.

DATE: SATURDAY, July 21, 2018
TIME: 11:30: Mingling; 12:00: Lunch; 12:30: Business Meeting; 1:00: Presentation PLACE: Embassy Suites by Hilton Boca Raton, 661 NW 53rd Street, Boca Raton, Florida, 33487; Get Directions Here

COST: $25 for MWA members; $30 for non-members. Prepayment by July 18 is strongly urged.
RESERVATIONS/PREPAYMENT: To reserve and pay online: go to website link and click on the “Monthly Meeting” tab under “Events”. Once you reach the page, click on the “Register for Monthly Meeting Here” link. Scroll down to the “Sign up for Luncheon Meeting” box and fill in your information, then click the “Pay Now” button and follow the instructions.

IMPORTANT - if you sign up for a meeting via PayPal in error, do NOT dispute the charge with PayPal. Instead, please contact our Treasurer via email ASAP at and she will refund your payment less PayPal's transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. If you do dispute the charge, be aware that you will be liable for any penalties back-charged to the FMWA Chapter by PayPal (minimum $20.00 per disputed transaction). Thanks for your cooperation!

To reserve and pay via mail:
Step 1–Email with the subject line “FMWA Meeting” to reserve a spot. In the body of the email, please include your name, the name of any guest you have invited, your email address, and telephone number.
Step 2– Write your check or money order payable to “Mystery Writers of America/Florida Chapter.”
Step 3-Mail your payment to FMWA Treasurer, 2301 S. Ocean Dr. #2005, Hollywood, FL 33019

Please make your online reservation by July 18, or mail your check at least 3 days prior to that date so that you will be included on the reservation list, and we can provide the hotel with an accurate headcount! Walk-ins are accommodated only it space allows. Next Meeting Date: Saturday August 18

Friday, June 15, 2018

Crafting the Perfect Crime: The 5th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, June 22-24

How does one negotiate a hostage situation? What’s the key to writing compelling historic characters? What’s the perfect poison?

Writers and fans of all genres can get the inside scoop on these questions and more at the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, running Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd., in Key West, Florida.

"Anyone who writes successfully knows that authenticity in details is what separates the pros from the ‘cons,’" said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “Our Fest attracts some of America’s top award-winning and bestselling mystery writers and true crime experts who come together and have a great time sharing details not only about WHO-dunit - but exactly HOW they did it.”

The 2018 “Mystery & Intrigue in Paradise” themed weekend features Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels; Special Guest of Honor Otto Penzler, publisher, editor and proprietor of the famed The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City; and Special Guest Presenter Heather Graham, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, with more than seventy-five million books in print, published in more than twenty languages.

Events kick off Friday afternoon with four back-to-back workshops: The Business of Being an Author, presented by Debbie Richardson, proprietor of Deborah Richardson Editing & Marketing Services, with author/publisher Shirrel Rhoades; The Forensic Use of Fingerprints, presented by New York Times bestselling author and forensic scientist Lisa Black; How to Write and Sell a First Novel, presented by literary agent Dianna Collier; and Crisis Negotiation, presented by David J. Stark, Crisis Negotiation Team Leader, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Friday evening, authors and guests can enjoy a poolside reception with island hors d’oeuvres and live music at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort.

Saturday’s series of panels spotlights leading authors and experts representing a variety of mystery genres including, action/adventure, “cozy” mysteries, forensic, supernatural, noir and police procedural. They include, The State of the Publishing Industry, with Patrick Kendrick, Alyssa Maxwell, Dianna Collier, and Otto Penzler, moderated by Diane A.S. Stuckart; Promoting Your Book, with Lewis C. Haskell, Wayne Stinnett, and Nancy J. Cohen, moderated by Patrick Kindrick; Co-writing a Mystery, with Carl and Jane Bock, Susan Haskell, Charles Todd, and David Beckwith, moderated by Rick Ollerman; Writing Historical Mysteries, with Charles Todd, Robert Coburn, John Guerra, Alyssa Maxwell, and Diane A.S. Stuckart, moderated by Heather Graham; and a panel on Audio Books, including how readers audition, with Reef Perkins, Marjorie Sorrell Rockwell, Lewis C. Haskell, and Ross Pipkin, moderated by Mike Dennis.

More Saturday highlights include luncheon with internationally renowned author Ace Atkins as Keynote Speaker, presentation of the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, an author’s book-signing hour, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West and a champagne social at the Key West Lighthouse, with speakers Ace Atkins and Otto PenzlerSunday is for chilling along the waterfront with the Fest’s finale Bloody Mary Buffet Breakfast at the iconic Schooner Wharf Bar.

Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Helmerich Foundation, and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.

Fest registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, luncheon and champagne social, or chose the Saturday only option for just $95.00. Those wishing to do bring a guest to the Keynote luncheon, champagne social or Sunday brunch can do so for only $35.00 additional per event. For registration and information visit

Peaceful Mama by Natalie Sager and Lindsay Ambrose Debuts on Amazon

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Events at Murder on the Beach Bookstore July 2018

Booksignings & Events
Wed July 25 at 7 pm.  Lori Roy will speak and sign The Dissappearing $14.99

Writers Workshops
Saturday July 7,  10 am - Noon
Dialogue: The Voices in Your Head.  Clues and cues to make your characters come alive.  $25 per person.  Instructor: Elaine Viets

Saturday July 14, 10 am - Noon
Freelance Like a Pro.  A magazine veteran will show you how to pitch, research, and produce relevant content. $25 per person. Instructor: DJ Niko

Saturday  July 21, 10 am - Noon
Point of View. This class will tackle the problem of allowing the action to carry the story forward. $25 per person.  Instructor: Mark Spivak

Saturday July 28, 10 am - Noon
Scrivener Basics: An Audience Interactive Live Demo.  Create and save a basic novel template in Scrivener for Windows and Mac. $25 per person. Instructor: MJ Carlson

Book Clubs
Tuesday July 17  at 6:30 pm.  The Tuesday Murder Club will discuss Down River by John Hart 16.99.

Sunday July 15 at 3 pm.  The Sunday Sleuths Book Club will discuss Odd Child Out by Gilly MacMillan 15.95.

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
Pineapple Grove
273 NE 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL  33444
Phone: 561-279-7790

Hairball Hijinks: A Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Short Story

New Book Release!

Hairball HijinksA Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Short Story by Nancy J. Cohen is now available. This title is #14.5 in the Bad Hair Day series. Recipes Included!

When hairstylist Marla Vail agrees to help find a neighbor’s missing cat, she doesn’t expect to get tangled in a series of home burglaries. She gets on the trail of the lost feline, surprised to find more than the pet missing from the elderly woman’s house. The lady’s valuables are gone, and according to the police, it isn’t the first incident in the neighborhood. Can Marla outwit the crooks before they cause another cat’astrophe?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Tampa Area Author Scott Stevens Announces International Audio Book Release of On Ice on June 30th

Scott Stevens novel  On Ice will be released on Amazon as a audio book on June 30th, 2018.
“It’s certainly been a long time in the making,” said Stevens, who has made several appearances around Florida, including in the Tampa area at book signings. The book is narrated by Jeffery Hutchins.

Hutchins is excited to be a part of the project. “On Ice has everything you could want in a story; action, mystery, romance, sex, thrills and twists and turns. What else is there to say! Oh, it also has an unexpected ending, that's for sure!”

After the success of On Ice, Stevens wrote Twister Town

Through the promotion of both books, Stevens has put together an international following. In a few weeks, he will take part in a Meet the Author event based out of the UK.

Stevens said “I have a new book coming out probably at the end of the summer. It’s a crime fiction and definitely another suspense thriller. Early feedback that I am getting on it says that it’s better than the first two. I can only hope that my fans agree.”

For more information about Scott Stevens, On Ice, Twister Town, or the On Ice audio book, just visit Scott’s website, or you can find him on Facebook or Twitter.

About Scott Stevens:

You Are Valued Founder, Inspirational Speaker Releases Sixth Book on Self Improvement by Ricky Roberts

St. Petersburg, FL—Author and inspirational speaker Ricky Roberts III has published his sixth inspirational book, Healing the Wounded Child Within. Roberts, who himself overcame a difficult childhood, has written five other books about conquering life's challenges. Healing the Wounded Child Within focuses on helping readers stop negative cycles that hold them back.

 “By healing wounds from your past, you can free yourself from distractions that prevent you from living the peaceful, productive, and fulfilling life you deserve,” says Roberts, who connects with thousands of youths and adults every year. “I wrote this book to help people come to terms with their past, and change their future.” Roberts had a transformation of his own at the age of seventeen, when he was stabbed nine times during an altercation. While recovering, he contemplated how to use the abuse and trauma he'd been exposed to in a productive way. Since then, he's made it his goal to help people from all walks of life, and he regularly meets with people in a variety of settings—from high schools and conferences to maximum-security prisons.

He also founded the You Are Valued movement, to help everyone realize their self-worth. Healing the Wounded Child Within is available at your favorite online bookseller.

For more information contact: Ricky Roberts III 727.433.1311

Q&A with New York Times Bestselling Author Ace Atkins, this year’s Mystery Fest Key West Keynote Speaker

Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels is to headline the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, an annual gathering of award-winning and bestselling mystery authors and true crime experts and the readers who love them, set for this June 22-24 in Key West, Florida. Those attending the Fest will have the opportunity to meet and talk mysteries with him. In the meantime, the author has agreed to answer a few questions:

Q: You had already produced several acclaimed stand-alone crime classics and two highly successful fiction series of your own conception – the Quinn Colson series and the Nick Travers series – when you were tapped by the estate of the late Robert B. Parker to continue his long running and wildly popular Spenser series. How does writing Spenser differ from writing your own originally created characters?

Ace: The main difference in writing Spenser is making sure Spenser's voice remains constant with the style Robert B. Parker developed. If I try to diverge from the style and sound of Spenser, it's no longer Spenser. And then what's the point? I might as well write a completely new character. I've been reading Parker since I was a teenager and feel very at home in his world and with the feel of those novels. I wouldn't want to write for any other author, living or dead, but Parker. His work meant a great deal to me personally and professionally. 

Q: You launched your writing career as a crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune, earning a Pulitzer Prize nomination for investigative journalism. With your true-crime background, what inspired you to start writing crime fiction?

Ace: I came to journalism wanting to develop the skills to be a novelist. Hemingway always advised young writers to spend some time in the newsroom—but not too much—and I took that advice very seriously. Getting to know the real world, meeting people of all walks of life, and seeing crime up close are absolutely invaluable if you want to write authentically. I wouldn't trade that experience for any creative writing program in the world.

Q: If you could have dinner with one fictional character from a crime novelyours or one written by another authorwho would it be and why?

Ace: That's easy. I have great respect for my main hero, Quinn Colson, and his world in Mississippi. But if I'm having dinner, there is no better companion and guide to great food than Spenser! I think we'd have a lot to discuss about beer, dogs, and music. And I'd let him advise me on what to order
In addition to panels and presentations with some two dozen high profile and award-winning mystery authors and true-crime experts who’ll be sharing the inside scoop on story-crafting and the technicalities of criminal investigation and forensics, 2018 Mystery Fest Key West highlights are to include book signings, professional publishing and marketing discussions, a mini Conch Train tour, and presentation of the 2018 Whodunit Mystery Writing Award.

Sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Helmerich Foundation and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, all panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West.  Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon, and a brunch at Schooner Wharf Bar at the Key West Historic Seaport. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit


Photo Caption:
Ace Atkins, the multi-award winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels is to be Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key. (Photo by Joe Worthem)

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Bible and Politics, Weaving Biblical Principles into Politics by Walter Manning

The Bible and Politics, Weaving Biblical Principles into Politics by Walt Manning suggests that we stop shaping our faith by our politics and start molding our politics by our faith. Manning's book was release on June 7, 2018 and is available for $14.95 (e-Book = $3.99).

Summary Statement

In his seventeenth book, entitled, The Bible and Politics, author Walt Manning employs the use of humor as the delivery vehicle when approaching controversial issues encountered in the “art” of Washington politics. In his work, Walt challenges the reader by intertwining biblical principles with quotes from famous people, and in the process, champions the Bible as the "Gold Standard" that should be used in the political arena.

About the Author

Walter Manning is a Christian author of seventeen books. He served six years in the United States Air Force, and earned his B.S. & M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston, TX, where he graduated with high honors. His fifty-year career in the high-tech industry spanned engineering, marketing, sales, and program management.

Walt retired in 2009, as a senior manager, to write and speak of his faith. Walt’s a member of the National Honor Society, National Engineering Honor Society, and the National Electrical Engineering Honor Society. He is a semi-pro baseball umpire, who also enjoys music, reading, writing, creativity, tinkering, and keeping current with world events, particularly as they pertain to biblical eschatology.

 Manning is married to Magdalene. They are non-denominational, Bible believing Christians, whose faith in Jesus Christ has, and continues to be, the cornerstone of their marriage. Manning is married and has two children: daughter, Elise Ruth and son, Christopher David.

The Bible and Politics is available at:

1) CrossLink Publishing at 
3) Local book stores

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Building Impressive Stories with CWHO

Saturday,June 16, 10 am - Noon
Murder On the Beach Mystery Bookstore
273 NE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Once we have a great story idea, we’re good for writing about 1/3 of the book before we run out of steam. We start again. Some of us have been starting again for years. We’ve got all these starts and very few finishes. What’s wrong? We have an idea but not a story. We’re going to learn how the Character-Wanted-However-Ongoing (CWHO) exercise helps us build an impressive story, one scene, or block, at a time. 

$25 per person.

About the instructor:
Christopher Hawke has a heart for teaching the craft of writing. Whether with groups, through content editing, or one-on-one writing coaching, his business is helping authors cross the finish line. His client roster includes well-known names, as well as aspiring authors. He has led a weekly critique group in South Florida for over 5 yearsand has a highly acclaimed video series and e-book the Craft of Writing available.

For more information and to register:

Friday, June 1, 2018

Winner Named 
in 2018 Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition

E. E. King, of Salt Lake City, Utah, has placed first in an international competition to claim the 2018 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award, which will be presented at the 5thAnnual Mystery Fest Key West.

E. E. King, of Salt Lake City, Utah, has been named First Place winner in an international competition to claim the 2018 Mystery Writers Whodunit Award.
Sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks, King’s winning entry “The Hollywood Portal” wins her a Whodunit Award trophy, book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, complimentary Mystery Fest Key West 2018 registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for two nights.

King is a painter, performer, biologist and widely published writer whose stories the author Ray Bradbury has called “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought-provoking.” She’s worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain, butterflies in South Central Los Angeles, lectured on island evolution and marine biology on cruise ships in the South Pacific and the Caribbean, and painted murals in Los Angeles and Spain.
“I really can’t express how thrilled and honored I am to have won First Place,” said King. And the added benefit is I get to go to the Keys! I love the Keys and am coming early to dive and snorkel ahead of the Mystery Fest.”  
Joining King in the winner’s circle are P.F. Hudson who took Second Place with “The Hale Gig,” and Candace J. Carter of Aiken, South Carolina, who took Third Place with “Muddy Waters.”

Candidates for the award were required to submit the first three pages of a finished but unpublished manuscript to a “blind” judging committee comprised of Dr. Toby Armour, a playwright, author and performer whose credits include the murder mystery book “Blood Tells” and the play, “Is This 24 Lily Pond Lane?”; Carol Lazar, an author, columnist, photojournalist and former senior editor for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers; Captain Reef Perkins, author of “Sex, Salvage and Secrets,” “Screwed, Blu’d and Tattoed,” and the mystery novel “Deep Air”; Robin Robinson, an author, syndicated newspaper columnist, educator and horticulturist; and Shirrel Rhoades, an author, movie critic, media consultant and publisher of Absolutely Amazing eBooks.

“Why just the first three pages? That criterion is a nod to late author Jeremiah Healy, a world-class mystery writer and a great judge of mystery writing,” says Rhoades, who is also co-founder of Mystery Fest Key West. “Jerry’s opinion was that a book either captures a reader in the first three pages...or it doesn’t. The competition judges all agreed with that assessment, and decided to use it as a yardstick for the competition.”

King is to receive her award trophy at 11am on Saturday, June 23, at the Mystery Fest venue, DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. The Fest itself is to include multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events where attendees mingle with acclaimed crime fiction and true crime writers including headliners Ace Atkins, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including several in the continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series; the multi-award-winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler - proprietor of the famed The Mysterious Book Shop in New York City; and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham.

For information on attending the 5th annual Fest as well as complete Mystery Writers Whodunit Writing Competition guidelines and submission details,

Kandi M. Siegel placed 3rd Contest

Kandi M. Siegel placed 3rd in the book cover of the month contest for the month of May.  You can check out Kandi's winning book, The Forever Rose,and all of her books on her website at