Book of the Year

I recently attended a Writers’ Conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I had the opportunity to enter several of their contests and submitted Flash Fiction and Fiction stories. I also entered my book “Betrayal of the River.” The entries for books had to have been published between January 2015 and July 2016.

As I sat chatting with my table companion I had just met, our attention was drawn to the Speaker who was ready to announce winners. In the meantime, after a month and a half of spring-like weather in Arkansas and in Missouri, this day filled with icy rains falling down. Even snow had managed to sneak in. I bring the weather up since it pertains to the winner announcements, too. The Speaker rushed along since it was the end of the day and everyone feared the roads in getting home safely. I twiddled my stylus over my I-Pad and listened for the winners’ names.

I THOUGHT she said “Betrayal of the River” followed by my name but was somewhat distracted since after she said ‘betrayal’ she lost her place in her notes for a split second and I wanted to stand up and finish the sentence for her. I didn’t do that. What if someone else had written a book that began with the word betrayal? Then it happened. My table companion nudged me and said “Congratulations!” Then I realized my name was the one really called out.

To say I was happy about the esteemed award is to minimize the impact. I walked up to get my certificate and prize money and grinned all the way back to my table as I saturated the applause. Yes, it was a moment. Not only did this encourage me to keep going, it also was immediately posted on Facebook by my daughter Jill, who I had called to let her know the news. This in turn boosted sales, to say nothing of my head that suddenly increased in size.

Next, I called my niece Madeline, who photographed the picture of the Mississippi River that became the cover for the book. We had a celebratory dinner the next day before I left to go home. The weather had suddenly transformed to better.

When I got home to Missouri the next day I immediately ordered stickers for the books that read Book of the Year. Then it was time to order more books, to contact stores for sales and possible book signings. My list became endless.

In the meantime, my freelance writing jobs increased having taken on a second client. Did I mention my fourth Beatrice Chandler Mysteries book is in the editing and formatting stage? All of these mysteries are set in my home state of Missouri. Nothing like a little motivation that says keep on keeping on.

The books are in Kindle and Paperback formats and can be found on Amazon, ordered from B&N or contact me directly at




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