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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Andi Under Pressure Nominated for the Agatha Award & Andi Unstoppable Cover Reveal

I’m so thrilled and delighted to share that my middle grade mystery, Andi Under Pressure, 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, and Andi Unexpected, my first middle grade mystery, was nominated last year for Best Children’s/YA Novel.

I’m so grateful for the Malice Domestic Convention that hosts the awards. They have been so kind to me over the years, and it’s my favorite book convention, hands down. I’m also thankful for my publisher Zonderkidz, my super agent Nicole Resciniti. The winners will be announced on May 2, 2015 during the Malice Domestic Convention.

Andi Under Pressure

To celebrate the nomination, I am revealing the cover for Andi #3, Andi Unstoppable. It will release from Zonderkidz on October 6, 2015!  I’m so excited about Andi’s next adventure. It might be my favorite in the series. And here’s the cover….

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Andi Boggs and her best friend Colin Carter are at it again … in this third book of the Andi Boggs series, Andi Unstoppable, school has begun for the two Killdeer middle schoolers and the science teacher has a great idea! He is an expert birder and wants his class to share in the fun. In a birding group with Colin and her biggest school rival, Ava, Andi sets out to be the first student in class to spot the elusive Kirtland’s warbler but ends up spotting the town’s resident ghost instead!

Together with her friends, Andi takes on another small town mystery—is the legend of the ghost of Dominika Shalley more than just a story? And does her sudden appearance have anything to do with the holes the friends find in the Shalley graveyard as they look for the rare bird?

Isn’t the cover awesome? I can’t wait for you and the kids in your life to read it!
Here’s a full list of the Agatha Nominees! Congrats to all!

Best Contemporary Novel:
The Good, The Bad and The Emus by Donna Andrews
A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron

Best Historical Novel:
Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd
An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd
Wouldn’t it Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen
Murder in Murray Hill by Victoria Thompson

Best First Novel:
Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris
Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber

Best Nonfiction:
400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Plantinga
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan, Editor
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice by Kate Flora
The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley
The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England’s Most Notorious Doctor by Stephen Bates

Best Short Story:
“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov. 2014
“Premonition” by Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays
“The Shadow Knows” by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays
“Just Desserts for Johnny” by Edith Maxwell
“The Blessing Witch” by Kathy Lynn Emerson, Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave

Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel:
Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Uncertain Glory by Lea Wait
The Code Buster’s Club, Case #4: The Mummy’s Curse by Penny Warner
Found by Harlen Coben

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

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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

 

Andi Unexpected: Family Tree Activity for middle readers

An orphan starting a new life.

A hidden trunk.

And a forgotten namesake. . .

Twelve-year-old Andora “Andi” Boggs and her sister Bethany move to rural Ohio to live with their eccentric aunt after the sudden death of their parents. While dealing with her grief, Andi discovers proof of another Andora Boggs hidden in a Depression-era trunk. No one remembers this Andora. Andi, with the help of her new friend Colin Carter, is determined to find out who Andora was and what happened to her.

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I’m so thrilled Andi Unexpected is now available to readers through bookstores, online, and libraries! For ereaders, the Kindle edition is currently selling for $3.49!

Educators can find classroom helps for the novel through my website’s “For Teachers/Librarians” Page. There I share resources about the Great Depression in the United States and Ohio. (Please note the Library of Congress links are currently down because of federal government shutdown.)

I couldn’t be happier with the activity Zonderkidz created to supplement the mystery. Since the mystery is a study of one family’s history, the activity is a family tree that children (and adults) can do.

Check it out at the links below!

Zondervan’s Andi Unexpected Page

Family Tree Activity
(printout activity to share with your students)

Zonderkidz was generous enough to give me a good supply of this family trees already printed. Teachers and Librarians, who would like some copies for their students, can email me at authoramandaflower@gmail.com to request some copies while supplies last. All I need is the number of copies and the school’s or library’s address. Please include FAMILY TREE in the subject line of the email.

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Order from Amazon.com, B&N, CBD, Zondervan
a mystery for children ages 8-12

Dead Fred Goes to ACFW 2013

Photo by Amy Clipston

Photo by Amy Clipston

Dead Fred and I traveled to Indianapolis, IN last week for the American Christian Fiction Writers National Conference. We have a great time! I met with my agent and Zonderkidz editor. It was also nice to meet so many others who work for Zondervan and are helping launch Andi Unexpected, which releases on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. The trip wasn’t all work. Amy Clipston, Amy Lillard, and I snuck away from the conference the visit the Children’s Museum. It was so much fun, and I wished my niece and nephew could have been there. They would have loved it!

Congratulations goes out to my former editor, Julie Gwinn, for winning Editor of the Year and to Amy Lillard for winning the Carol Award for Best Romance. Both were so well deserved.

Enjoy Dead Fred’s photo journal!

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Don’t forget to enter my Amish Quilt Giveaway!

It’s SUPER SEPTEMBER! Amanda Flower (also writing as Isabella Alan) has three novels releasing in September 2013. To celebrate, she is giving away an authentic Amish Quilt hand-stitched by Amish in Holmes County, Ohio.

Enter to Win an Authentic Amish Quilt from author Amanda Flower! Click here to Enter!

Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest

Follow Amanda’s alter ego Isabella on Facebook

Dead Fred Goes to ALA 2013

Last weekend, Dead Fred and I traveled to Chicago, IL. Zonderkidz sent me to sign advance copies of  Andi Unexpected at the the American Library Association Annual Conference. I was only there for twenty-four hours, but in that time, I got to hang out with Zonderkidz team, including my awesome editor and YA authors Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. Carey and Lorie’s debut YA novel Doon releases in August. They are both so sweet and funny! You should check out their book!

The signing itself was amazing, and I signed 200 ARCs in 45 minutes, a personal record. 😉

Enjoy Dead Fred’s photo journal!