Andi Unstoppable Wins the Agatha

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photo credit: Sisters in Crime

Back in January, I received a phone call from the Washington D.C. area while I was driving. I remember exactly where I was when the call came in. I was on State Route 91 in Summit County, Ohio, driving by my favorite park where I hike as often as I can. It was oddly warm day, like much of the winter had been, and the sun was shining. As soon as I saw where the call orginated I knew what it was. I knew it was a member of the Malice Domestic board and I knew I had just been nominated for an Agatha Award. I answered and the board member told that Andi Unstoppable the third mystery in the Andi Boggs series was nominated for the Agatha for Best Children’s/ YA Novel. This wasn’t my first call like this. It was fourth. I had been nominated three times before. This call wasn’t any less thrilling than it had been the first time. I squealed and thanked the board member repeatedly just as I had when my first novel, Maid of Murder, had been up for best first five years before. To be nominated, not once but four times, was a greater gift than I could ever imagine, a bigger dream than I could have conjured.

And then at the Agatha Awards banquet on April 30th, Andi Unstoppable won, and if it wasn’t for the Agatha teapot, which is the trophy for the award, sitting on my mantle at this moment, I still would have trouble believing it. When my name was called as the winner, I stood on shaky legs, and I continued to shake the entire walk to the stage, up the stairs to the platform, and as  stood at the microphone to deliver a speech I had written on a scratch piece of paper just a couple of hours before but never expected to recite.

Although not verbatim because I did ad lib some of it, here is my acceptance speech.

This is such and enormous honor. I’m so grateful to the Malice community and the readers. I wrote the Andi series because at a young age I was reading Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, and Marcia Muller and I saw that there was a gap I could fill. I wrote it because it was a character that wouldn’t let me go. I never expected it to be published. I have my agent Nicole Resciniti–who is going to freak out when she hears that I won– and everyone at Zonderkidz and HarperCollins Chrisitian Publishing to thank for making that possible.

I also have to thank my family and friends, especially my brother Andy and my sister-in-law Nicole, who came all the way from Ohio to be with me tonight. And to my niece and nephew, my great joys; we call each other super besties. They support and encourage me and feed me when I am on deadline.

However, my biggest encouragers were my parents, and I accept this award in their memory. When I was a little girl and told them I wanted to be a mystery author when I grew up, they never said that was impractical, they said what can we do, how can we help and I am so very grateful. Thank you.

Like Andi Boggs, who is an orphan in the series, my parents are gone. Although, I was not twelve when they died but a young adult, the loss of them was no less great. There was much that they didn’t see, that they won’t see like this moment when I won the Agatha. That is heartbreaking, but it makes moments of pure happiness like winning the Agatha more meaningful too. To have suffered great loss makes me appreciate great joy that much more; to know deepest pain allows me to recognize greatest happiness. It has made me a better writer, a better Christian, a better person. I learn something new about myself and the world from every novel I write. Like Andi in the series I have made a conscience choice to hold on joy and seek out new adventures and challenges. God has taught me through writing  the Andi series that pure joy with no baggage to hold it here on earth is still possible. I’m so very grateful for that lesson, and so very grateful that He’s blessed me beyond measure. All I can do to show my thanks is the work I have been assigned for my time here on earth: to write books that glorify Him and bring joy to others.

Enjoy these photos from the awards and convention.

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Malice Domestic Bound! Appearance Schedule!

I’m heading to the Malice Domestic Convention, and I cannot wait to get there to see old and new friends and to meet readers. I love my readers!

I’m still pinching myself that Andi Under Pressure was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA mystery. It’s my third nomination and second for the children’s/YA category. The winner will be announced at the Agatha Banquet on Saturday (5/2/15).

If you see me at the convention, stop me to say “hello.” I will be in the hotel all weekend. Please don’t be afraid to stop me, but you can also see me at these times and places:

Friday, May 1 @ 5pm : Opening Ceremonies

Friday, May 1 @ 9:15pm: Welcome Reception. Since it is co-hosted by Midnight Ink, the publisher of The Final Reveille, Midnight Ink will be giving away signed copies of the novel at the reception!!

Saturday, May 2 @ 9am: My panel, Kids Love A Mystery: Our Agatha Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel Nominees, along with my fellow nominees.

Saturday, May 2 @ 11am: Signing in the Atrium

Saturday, May 2 @ 7pm: Agatha Awards Banquet. I will be hosting a table, and we will find out if Andi it the winner!

I hope to see you there! Oh and be on the lookout for Dead Fred photos at the convention on my Facebook Page. Andi Under Pressure

ALA Bound! Vegas, baby!

When I was a young writer and wanted to sell just one mystery novel to a publisher, I never dreamed that one day my publisher would fly me across the country to sign books. I’ve been blessed enough that I have had this oporunity several times over the last few years. However, this upcoming weekend will be a real pinch me moment when I sign free copies of my novels at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in both the Penguin and Zondervan/HarperCollins booths. I never dreamed that big!

So fellow librarians if you will be at ALA this weekend, please see me and grab one of my free titles. I can’t wait to talk about books, writing, and all things librarianish!

Here’s my schedule:
Friday, June 27 5-7pm, Penguin booth, signing Murder, Simply Stitched
Saturday, June 28 9:00-10:00am, Zondervan booth inside HarperCollins area, signing ARCs of Andi Under Pressure
Saturday, June 28 10:30-11:30am, Sisters in Crime booth, signing Murder, Simply Stitched

MurderSimplyStitched-1

 

Andi Under Pressure

 

If you aren’t attending the conference, you can still take part in the adventure! Watch for Dead Fred pics from Las Vegas on my Facebook Pages.

https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaflower

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaAlanAuthor

Cover Reveal! ANDI UNDER PRESSURE

The cover of my second children’s mystery is here! I’m so excited to reveal the cover of Andi Under Pressure. This is the sequel to Andi Unexpected, which was a 2013 Agatha Award nominee for Best Children’s/YA Novel. In book two, Andi and Colin are back solving the mysteries of Killdeer, Ohio’s checkered past. There might be a slight explosion in this one! Very special thanks to my friend chemistry professor, Dr. Sarah Preston, who helped me with the science behind the story.

Official Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs and her new best friend Colin Carter couldn’t be more excited to attend the prestigious science camp at the local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Unfortunately, Discovery Camp’s curriculum appears to include much more than just chemistry and biology. From day one, the university is plagued by a series of pranks—missing markers, loose crickets, and stolen scales. Campus security blames the mysterious janitor Polk, but even though Andi agrees he’s acting suspicious, she can’t believe the gentle old man would do anything illegal. Then one prank goes too far and their chemistry professor is injured by an explosion in the lab, upping the stakes of the investigation. Andi and Colin must unravel the secrets behind the chemistry department and Polk’s dark past before danger closes the camp for good.

Andi Under Pressure releases on October 7, 2014 and is available for preorder now.

Amazon | B&N | CBD

AND HERE’S THE COVER!

Someone is up to no good in the chemistry lab!

Andi Under Pressure

Praise for the series

Andi Unexpected 2013 Agatha Award Nominee

“In the upstanding tradition of Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy, Andi is spunky and unafraid to take risks” – Booklist

“A fun little detective story with some simple life lessons.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Flower creates a cast of memorable characters and a colorful, historically detailed setting.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Malice Domestic Bound

I’m packing for the Malice Domestic Convention, and I cannot wait to get there to see old and new friends and to meet readers. I love my readers!

I’m still pinching myself that Andi Unexpected was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA mystery. It’s my second nomination and first for the children’s/YA category. The winner will be announced at the Agatha Banquet on Saturday (5/3/14).

If you see me at the convention, stop me to say “hello.” I’ll be in the hotel all weekend, but you can also find me at my panel, Kids Love A Mystery: Our Agatha Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel Nominees, along with my fellow nominees: Joelle Charbonneau, Kathleen Ernst, and Penny Warner on Saturday (5/3) at 9am with a signing right afterward. Leslie Blatt is moderating what promises to be a fun panel about kids and mystery.

I hope to see you there! Oh and be on the lookout for Dead Fred photos at the convention on my Facebook Page.

Mister Tumnus thinks he's coming too!

Mister Tumnus thinks he’s coming too!

 

Andi Unexpected Nominated for the Agatha Award

I’m so thrilled and delighted to share that my middle grade mystery, Andi Unexpected, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA Novel. The Agathas are awards that honor the best in traditional mystery. It’s a great honor! My very first novel, Maid of Murder, was nominated for Best First Novel in 2010. That event changed the course of my writing career, so I know how monumental being nominated is. I’m so grateful for the Malice Domestic Convention that hosts the awards. I’m also thankful for my wonderful publisher Zonderkidz, my agent Nicole Resciniti, and my editor Kim Childress. The winners will be announced on May 3, 2014 during the Malice Domestic Convention.

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Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Historical Novel

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George (Untreed Reads Publishing)
A Friendly Game of Murder by JJ Murphy (Signet)
Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (Berkley Prime Crime)
A Question of Honor by Charles Todd (William Morrow)

Best Children’s/YA Nominations

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery by Kathleen Ernst (American Girl Mysteries)
Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books)
Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner (Edgmont USA)

Best Contemporary Novel

Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur Books)
Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (Kensington Books)
The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)

Best Nonfiction

Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester (Source Books Inc.)
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova (Viking Penguin)
Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic’s First 25 Years by Verena Rose and Rita Owen (editors) (Wildside Press)
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Best First Novel

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley Prime Crime)
You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa (Pocket Books)
Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn (Henery Press)
Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (Kensington)
Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker (Henery Press)

Best Short Story

“Evil Little Girl” in Don’t Get Mad, Get Even by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“Nightmare” in Don’t Get Mad, Get Even by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“The Hindi Houdini” in Fish Nets by Gigi Pandian (Wildside Press)
“Bread Baby” in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold by Barbara Ross (Level Best Books)
“The Care and Feeding of House Plants” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Birthday Book Giveaway!

It’s my birthday this week, and to celebrate, I’m giving away copies of my mystery novels written under my own name and my pen name Isabella Alan!!

There will be three winners. Winners can choose one novel from the following:

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To Enter CLICK HERE to visit the GIVEAWAY page on my website.

Giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents only.