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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Crime and Poetry Tea Party

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On Saturday, April 16th, the Twinsburg Public Library hosted An Amanda Flower / Emily Dickinson Tea Party to celebrate the release of my seventeenth book, Crime and Poetry. The novel is the first book in my Magical Bookshop Mystery Series. The tea celebrated both my new book and the work of Emily Dickinson because my sleuth, Violet Waverly, uses Dickinson’s poems to solve the mystery. What a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month too!

The tea was a wonderful event, and we had a full house of fabulous readers. I was truly blessed and humbled by the response that the tea received. Thank you to everyone who came. You made the day so special!

Special thanks to the Twinsburg Public Library that hosted the tea, Super Librarian Cari Dubiel who planned so much, The Friends of the Twinsburg Public Library that provided the tea and desserts, the Learned Owl that sold my books, and my friends Molly, Bobby, and Samantha for helping with set up and clean up.

Please enjoy these photos from the event!

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More about Crime and Poetry:

9780451477446-1From Amanda Flower—who writes the USA Today bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries as Isabella Alan—comes the first in the new Magical Bookshop Mystery series.

Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you…

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good…

Watch the Crime and Poetry Book Trailer now!

It’s my Author-Agent 5th Anniversary!

In a tiny Christian elementary school in the middle of suburban Ohio, there was young girl who wanted to be an author. She had glasses and braces and was painfully shy, but she had a dream, a big dream. She told anyone and everyone that she was going to be an author some day and she was going to write mysteries like her heroes Sue Grafton and Elizabeth Peters. Despite her timidity, she never doubted her dream would come true. Even so, there were tears, rejections, and disappointments along the way. It took her nearly a decade to sell her first novel, and she was thirty by the time it released. But she never wavered in the pursuit of her dream.

That girl was me, and that dream was my dream.

There is one person responsible more than any other for making my big dream come true, and that’s my agent, Nicole Resciniti. She plucked my query out of the thousands she receives every year and kicked open doors so that I could sail on through.

In the time since Nicole and I have been working together, I’ve published sixteen mysteries with half a dozen publishers, been nominated for prestigious national awards, signed books all over the country, and hit the USA Today bestsellers list. In the last five years, my life has changed dramatically because she took a chance a me, a quirky mystery author from Ohio she didn’t know. Since then, I have had great professional triumph and great personal loss, and through it all, Nicole has been there not just as my agent but as my friend.

Thank you, Nicole, you are a dream maker, one of the kindest people on Earth, and my beloved friend. You and me, we are in this for the long haul.

You can read the entire story of how Nicole signed me in this 2012 post from Fresh Fiction.

Dream big! ❤ Amanda

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Meet Amanda Flower/Isabella Alan this Spring!

9780451477446-1Amanda Flower’s Spring Book Signing Schedule

NEO Sisters in Crime Death March
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Cleveland, OH
March 12, 9:30am-5pm

Sisters in Crime Hollywood Conference
Hollywood, CA
April 1-3

CRIME AND POETRY LAUNCH PARTY
An Amanda Flower/Emily Dickinson Tea Party
Twinsburg, Public Library
Twinsburg, OH
April 16, 2pm

Ohioana Book Festival (Amanda is the featured author in fiction this year!)
Columbus, OH
April 23, 10am-4pm

Malice Domestic Convention
(Amanda is an Agatha Award nominee for the 4th time!
This year she is nominated for ANDI UNSTOPPABL9780310737667_imageE.)
Bethesda, MD
April 29-May 1

Girlfriends Weekend with Shelley Shepard Gray & Vannetta Chapman
Charm, OH
May 21-22

Booktalk & Signing
Ada Public Library
Ada, OH
June 18

Hope to see you at one of these events this spring! And don’t forget to enter the CRIME AND POETRY countdown giveaway! Chance to win a $50 gift card from B&N or Amazon. Winners choice!

❤ Amanda

CRIME AND POETRY Countdown Giveaway!

To celebrate the upcoming release of CRIME AND POETRY, the first novel in the Magical Bookshop Mysteries, on April 5, 2016, Amanda Flower will be giving away four $50 gift cards from Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Winners can choose either Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Winners will be chosen the four weeks leading up to release on March 15th, March 22nd, March 29th, and April 5th (RELEASE DAY!).

If you pre-order the novel and provide a valid receipt number in the space provide, you will receive five extra entries into the giveaway.

No purchase necessary. There will be four winners. Limited to US and Canada residents.

Enter here: http://www.amandaflower.com/Giveaways.html

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Pre-Order Now!

Magical Bookshop Mystery #1
Penguin Random House

Published/Released: April 2016

Amazon | B&N | Books-A-Million | CBD

From Amanda Flower—who writes the USA Today bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries as Isabella Alan—comes the first in the new Magical Bookshop Mystery series.

Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you…

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good…


“An enchanting tale of mystery, magical books, and endearing characters. Prepare to be charmed.”
Heather Blake, National Bestselling Author of Some Like it Witchy

 

 

Free Signed Bookmarks

Would you like a signed bookmark from Agatha Award nominated & USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower (i.e. ME) like the one pictured below? It’s easy! Just click on the photograph of the form and fill it out. Then, I will mail you a signed bookmark. Have a wonderful holiday season!

❤ Amanda

 

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Sign up here!!

bookmarksignup

Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis

While on vacation summer, I read Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis. Mary is a friend of mine and has been writing bestselling novels for years, but this is her first mystery. What a great mystery debut! The atmospheric novel has a clear sense of place, a spunky heroine, and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. I can’t wait for her next mystery! You should check it out!51QcSg01vHL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Summary of the novel:

Midnight on the Mississippi begins the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.

New Orleans–Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter’s fiancee, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki’s growing attraction to Hunter–a suspected murderer–her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter’s only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.