An Independent Mystery


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Huntington Beach, CA 92647
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Ladies of Intrigue Wrap-Up 

Orange County Sisters in Crime 5th Annual Ladies of Intrigue 
On Sunday, October 7th, we held Ladies of Intrigue.

Two multi-award-winning authors, Hallie Ephron from Boston, MA and Carola Dunn from Eugene, OR, headlined Orange County, California’s annual premier female mystery writer event, Ladies of Intrigue,  on October 7, continuing its resounding success into a fifth year. Hosted by the OC chapter of Sisters in Crime and its president, bestselling author Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, it was held at the Mesa Verde Country Club. Event coordinator was Debbie Mitsch, owner of Mystery Ink bookstore in Huntington Beach, CA. The Hallowe’en theme brought forth trick-or-treat candies and orange candles as centerpieces for the tables and several gift baskets containing thrillers, mysteries, cozies, and gift cards were auctioned off to the 80 or so attendees. 

Nine authors and three author-moderators presented panels focusing on Writing Across Borders: Merging Character with Setting; Curious Minds: Plots, Clues, and Characters, and Me and My Shadow: Series, Stand-Alones and Collaborations. Of particular interest was Rachel Howzell Hall’s description of her collaboration with James Patterson on his book, Family Lawyer. The other authors were Janelle Brown, Ivy Pochoda, Amy Stewart, Ellen Byron, Hannah Dennison, Wendall Thomas, Lisa Brackmann, Naomi Hirahara, Maddie Margarita, Jill Amadio, and Daryl Wood Gerber. There were author-signing sessions before and after the panels.

The enthusiastic audience at the day-long gathering of murder-minded fans listened, lunched, and besieged the book table, snapping up their favorite thrillers, cozies, and non-fiction how-to manuals. Ephron’s book, Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, sold out, as did DeMarco-Barrett’s award-winning Pen on Fire: A Guide to Igniting the Writer Within. 

“We had a great group of women and a few men at the best venue yet, with good food and good parking. I always love listening to authors because I inevitably learn something,” said DeMarco-Barrett. “We did surveys this year and received so many great responses. Karen Y. said, “Very enjoyable. Loved the location.” Cynthia R. said, “A special day that I look forward to each year.” Carolyn M. said, “Wonderful. Love hearing from the authors. Helps us connect more with the stories. Love the book signings and the chance to tell the authors we love their work. And fun to find ‘new’ authors, too.” 

A great way to spend a Sunday!

Written by Jill Amadio

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