Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Links to Malice Domestic's Agatha Nominated Short Stories

Gigi Pandian's 2017 Agatha
One of the delightful aspects of mystery awards season is reading the nominated works. The 2019 Agatha short story nominees provide a range of time periods and characters to contemplate and savor. Here are the links to each story:

"All God's Sparrows" by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
"A Postcard for the Dead" by Susanna Calkins in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)
"Bug Appetit" by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
"The Case of the Vanishing Professor" by Tara Laskowski (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
"English 398: Fiction Workshop" by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Please read and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

News of a 2019 Bouchercon Anthology!

The Bouchercon Dallas Committee and Down & Out Books proudly announce a call for submissions to the 2019 Bouchercon anthology to honor Bill Crider’s memory. All proceeds from sales will benefit LIFT, Literary Instruction For Texas, which works to enhance and strengthen communities by teaching adults to read.

Stories must be original works (no reprints) of less than 5,000 words. The theme is the conference slogan: Denim, Diamonds, and Death.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2019. Please send submissions to rick@downandoutmagazine.com.

A Bill Crider Contest entry may be submitted, but if selected must be withdrawn from the Contest.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2019 Edgar Short Story Nominees

Annually, the Mystery Writers of America present Edgars, for Edgar Allan Poe, to recognize excellence in mystery writing and special achievement.

This year’s 73rd celebration will be April 25, 2019 in New York City.

Following are the Edgar Best Short Story nominees:

“Rabid – A Mike Bowditch Short Story” by Paul Doiron (Minotaur Books).
“Paranoid Enough for Two” – The Honorable Traitors by John Lutz (Kensington Publishing).
“Ancient and Modern” – Bloody Scotland by Val McDermid (Pegasus Books).
“English 398: Fiction Workshop” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Art Taylor (Dell Magazines).
“The Sleep Tight Motel” – Dark Corners Collection by Lisa Unger (Amazon Publishing).

Friday, March 8, 2019

Malice Domestic 31

Malice Domestic, a conference for writers and readers of Christie-style mysteries, is scheduled for May 1 through 3, 2019, in Bethesda, Maryland. Donna Andrews is the Guest of Honor with Chris Grabenstein as the Toastmaster and Parnell Hall recognized for life achievement. The Agatha nominees (awarded at the Malice Domestic banquet to celebrate excellence in the traditional mystery) include many friends. In addition to Leslie Budewitz, Susanna Calkins, and Barb Goffman, Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski, husband and wife marvelous writers, find themselves competitors for best short story, a first in Agatha history. Art describes their “rivalry” in this article.
Art Taylor, son Dash, and Tara Laskowski

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Enraging the Enchantress

This is from the Beast's antagonist.

So Easy to Displease, Part Two by Paula Gail Benson
You could be another Prince Charming
If your manners weren’t so alarming,
And you treated others with simple respect.
But, being so self-absorbed,
Arrogantly the center of your own world,
Made me decide to shock you into retrospect.
I turned the monster from inside
Outward, giving the beast no place to hide
So all would view you with terror from the start.
Forced to make a human connection,
Armed with a mirror having no reflection,
You had to come to understand the heart.
Once you decided to concede
You lost the evil need
Proving through love you could become smart.

© Paula Gail Benson, all rights reserved

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Magically Maligned

Consider from the perspective of that forgotten fairy godmother, who arrived late to Sleeping Beauty's christening.

So Easy to Displease, Part One by Paula Gail Benson

How much trouble could it be,
To prepare for an unexpected fairy?
Their protest that they thought me dead,
Left them with something horrific to dread --
A death sentence upon the new baby!
When? Who knew? Wait and see.
My spell, once cast, could not be rescinded,
However, a meddling godmother tried to mend it.
Rather than death, the kingdom would sleep,
Waiting for a true love to creep
Through the brambles and past the slumbering,
To cure with a kiss the family’s bumbling.
In a hundred years, they’d awake in joy
To celebrate the curiosity of an intrepid boy.

© Paula Gail Benson, all rights reserved

Monday, February 18, 2019

Witches of the Woods and Waters

Here are the thoughts of two witches, one who imprisoned Rapunzel and the other who made a deal with the Little Mermaid.

The Vexing Hexers by Paula Gail Benson

Malignancy blooms best in darkness,
Fostered by starkness
Producing rage.
If fury rises to the surface,
Generated by an internal purpose
An impending eruption is difficult to gauge.

When my garden was invaded
My anger was abated
By an infant given to me.
I hid her in a tower
Hoping to keep her in my power
But our seclusion was not to be.

I lingered in the depths of the ocean,
Plotting with minions and potions,
Waiting ‘til the mermaid sought my spell.
But, magic comes with a price,
And mine wasn’t so nice,
Depending on the story you tell.

© Paula Gail Benson, all rights reserved