Malice Memories with guest Annette Dashofy

WithAVengeance cover FRONTAnnette, thanks so much for taking time to stop by during the launch of With A Vengeance the fourth Zoe Chambers!

By the time you read this, Malice Domestic will have been long past. But as I’m writing this post, I haven’t even unpacked yet. Seriously. I need to do laundry. Later.

Wow. What a fabulous weekend.

Sherry Harris, Joyce Tremel and Annette Dashofy
Sherry Harris, Joyce Tremel and Annette Dashofy

Malice, for those of you who have never experienced it, is one big family reunion. Every year the family grows by leaps and bounds. The moment I walked through the hotel doors, I spotted Dru Ann Love charging toward me with her lovely smile and her arms open wide for the first of many hugs. Yeah. It’s like that. All weekend long. I’ve learned to start out at least fifteen minutes early to get from Point A to Point B because there will be many stops along the way for embraces and squeals of delight at seeing an old friend or meeting a new fan.

Last year I had been nominated (along with Wickedly Wonderful Sherry Harris!) for Best First Novel. I didn’t think it could get any better than that.

I was wrong.

IMG_8756This year, I went to Malice carrying the mantle of nominee for Best Contemporary Novel (for Bridges Burned). With fellow nominees like Hank Phillippi Ryan, Margaret Maron, Catriona McPherson, and Louise Penny, I went in with low expectations for a win, but with high expectations for breathing rarefied air. My Cinderella weekend. It was definitely that and more.

Does an author ever tire of having readers stop her in the hall to tell her how much they love her books? Or having readers and fellow writers whisper, “I voted for you!” as they scurry to the next panel? I think not.


Looking back at the weekend, there are a lot of special moments that stick with me and keep the smile on my face. Some big, like Opening Ceremonies, sitting in the front row next to Guest of Honor Victoria Thompson, a fellow Pennwriter, whom I’ve long admired and adored. On my other side, none other than Best First nominee Julie Hennrikus herself! Then having my name called, walking up to collect my nomination certificate, and standing with Hank, Margaret, and Catriona for the photo. Let’s just say tears were very close to the surface.

IMG_8909Speaking of tears, Amanda Flowers’ sweet speech following her win for Best Children’s or YA Novel in which she shared emotional memories of her parents will also stay with me.

But there are those smaller moments. Quieter moments. The ones with no photos to document the occasion. Sitting in a corner catching up with a long time friend. Chatting one-on-one with a reader I’d just met, and with a wonderful pair of fans—a mother and daughter I met two years ago who have become my good pals. An unplanned Working Stiffs (my old group blog) lunch reunion. And of course, hanging out with all the Wicked Cozies!

Speaking of… You ladies rock! Congratulations to Julie and Edith on your nominations! I loved watching both of you bask in the limelight. And while none of us brought home the tea pot this year, here’s my biggest take-away from Malice Domestic 28. Those Cinderella moments don’t necessarily only happen once. Never take them for granted. But don’t completely count out the idea of starting a collection of those nomination certificates!

Who knows. One day we might add a teapot.

Readers: What dream are you waiting to accomplish?

Dashofy-1559 (534x800)Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and BRIDGES BURNED was an Agatha Award finalist for Best Contemporary Novel of 2015. Her latest release, WITH A VENGEANCE, is the fourth in the series.

43 Thoughts

  1. A big THANKS to Sherry for inviting me and for all the pictures (except the one with my cat…that one’s mine)!

    1. Thank you for being here! I wish the lovely color of your dress showed up better in the photo! And it was wonderful seeing you at Malice!

      1. The dress doesn’t photograph all that well. :-/ Thankfully it does look good in person!

  2. Hi Annette! *waves* It was such a great weekend. I miss everyone already, although I do get to see Annette again on Saturday for her launch party at Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

      1. Thanks, Sherry. I was busy making my food list for it this morning. Wine. Cheese. Crackers. Cookies. Lindor Truffles…

  3. It was a wonderful conference, as always but there were a couple of standout memories for me. Basking in the glow of so many friends enjoying an Agatha nomination was so special. And so was getting to see Annette in her dress for the banquet. The photo of her above is beautiful but in person she was utterly breathtaking. Every now and again you see someone who looks startlingly lovely and it is always such a joy. Thanks, Annnette for visiting, for sharing your memories and for being a fashion inspiration!

    1. Awww, Jessie… Now you’re making me cry. Thank you. And not to sound like a meeting of the mutual admiration society or anything, but folks, Jessie has the brightest, prettiest smile of just about anyone I’ve ever met! It was fabulous getting to hang out with you and all the Wickeds!

      1. You gals are making me weepy. I’m a blue jean wearing farmer. I don’t think I’ve ever been called “stunning” or “breathtaking” before! Thank you for making my day!

  4. It was great to spend time with you, Annette, this year at Malice. Your banquet dress was beautiful! Looking forward to seeing you at Penn Writers.

  5. You are so right–Malice is like one big family reunion (with family members you like!) So many of us know authors and readers mainly through social media, and it’s such a delight to talk to them face to face, and to make new friends as well.

    1. And, Sheila, you and I never seem to have enough time together! Must correct this the next time I see you!

  6. Maybe some day I’ll get to Malice. Of course, I get to hang out with Annette frequently. It’s the rest of you I have to meet up with!

    1. Yes, Mary, I must drag you along with me to Malice one of these years. You have to experience it at LEAST once!

    1. Hey, Art! It was great seeing you, too. And a HUGE congratulations on your Best First Agatha! You had some tough competition there.

  7. What a nice post and again Congratulations!
    As an avid mystery fan I hope to attend Malice one year; sounds like a wonderful experience!

  8. It was a fabulous weekend. So glad you enjoyed the glow of the nomination. And I agree, Amanda’s speech was wonderful.

  9. Hi Annette! I spoke with you briefly (I cornered during your signing, to be precise) and asked you questions about the Pennwriters Conference. I registered last week after I got back from Malice and I’m looking forward to your sessions! Cheers!

    1. Jacki, YES, I remember you! I’m glad you registered for Pennwriters. I know you won’t regret it. And if you DO, tell me so I can do my best to “fix” the problem. See you there!

      1. I’m really excited and I’m sure I’ll love it! See you in 9 days (not like I’m counting or anything!).

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