Bouchercon 2014

BOUCHERCON 2014 | Murder at the Beach


Henery Press Authors Attending:

Art Taylor,  Annette Dashofy, Diane Vallere, Gigi Pandian, Kendel Lynn, LynDee Walker, Nancy Cole Silverman, Susan M. Boyer, Sybil Johnson, Wendy Tyson


8:30 – 10:30

Susan Boyer, Kendel Lynn, Gigi Pandian, Diane Vallere

Author Speed Dating

1:00 – 2:00

Gigi Pandian

Murder in a Locked Room: Solving the “Perfect” Crime

(Promenade A)

12:30 – 3:30

Susan M. Boyer

Where Do You Like Your Violence? Spilling Blood On Page and Off

(Promenade B)

4:00 – 5:00

Art Taylor

Short But Mighty: The Power and Freedom of the Short Story

(Regency D)

4:00 – 5:00

LynDee Walker

Just The Facts: Journalists Solving Crimes

(Promenade C)


10:00 – 11:00

Diane Vallere

Sassy, Sexy, Smart Female Protagonists

(Regency B)

3:00 – 4:00

Diane Vallere

Craft 4: Cupcake Pincushions


4:30 – 5:30

Wendy Tyson

Cute and Sweet, But With a Twist: Cozies With Attitude



8:30 – 9:30

Sybil Johnson

Add Spice To Your Crafts: Murder With Your Favorite Hobbies


8:30 – 9:30

Annette Dashofy

Murder Among the Medical Profession

(Regency A)

10:00 – 11:00

Kendel Lynn

The Fine Art of Murder: Mysteries in the Museum and Art World

(Regency B)

11:30 – 12:30

Diane Vallere

We’ve Got Grit: Traditional to Thriller to True Crime

(Regency C)

12:30 – 1:30

Gigi Pandian

Bouchercon 2014 Anthology Signing

(Promenade 104 Lobby)

1:30 – 2:30

Susan M. Boyer

Plenty of Crime, Y’All: Southern Murder and Mischief

(Promenade C)

Art Thieves & Adventure

Danger in the City of Love QUICKSAND by Gigi Pandian

QUICKSANDTake a trip to Paris this spring where you’ll find an art thief, a con man, and an ancient treasure. (Along with a page-turning love triangle!) QUICKSAND, the third Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, has it all. Look for the next big adventure when it releases March 10, 2015!

A thousand-year-old secret room. A sultan’s stolen treasure. A missing French priest. And an invitation to Paris to rekindle an old flame…

Historian Jaya Jones finds herself on the wrong side of the law during an art heist at the Louvre. To redeem herself, she follows clues from an illuminated manuscript that lead from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the quicksand-surrounded fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. With the help of enigmatic Lane Peters and a 90-year-old stage magician, Jaya delves into France’s colonial past in India to clear her name and catch a killer.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments – to the Hen House or Gigi.  We’d love to hear from you.


Hen House Staff

PIRATE VISHNU’s Book Birthday!!

PIRATE VISHNUNewly Agatha-nominated Gigi Pandian celebrates her PIRATE VISHNU book release by giving valuable advice to debut authors, chatting with us about her overseas NaNoWriMo experiences (and making us completely jealous with pictures of her travels!)

Jaya Jones is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite treasure hunter! And congratulations on your recent Agatha nomination for Best Short Story, what an accomplishment. How did you celebrate?

Thank you! It’s especially exciting to have this particular story, “The Hindi Houdini,” nominated, because it features Sanjay from the Jaya Jones series – making it a double Jaya Jones celebration this week!

I haven’t yet had a chance to celebrate properly. The day I received the phone call about the Agatha nomination, I was in the throes of finishing a book that was due that week. Even before the call came in, it was already a surreal day. I was so close to finishing the novel that I was surrounded by notebooks full of scribbled notes, printouts of critique reader notes, dog-eared research books, and empty coffee mugs. My husband and I toasted that night, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with readers at upcoming book events.

With your second book officially released, what advice can you give to debut authors? And what makes this release different from the first?

My biggest piece of advice to debut authors is to remember to have fun. Publishing is a crazy business, and it’s not worth it to worry about things that are beyond your control. You have control over writing a great book, so once you’ve poured your heart and soul into your debut novel, definitely take time to sit back and enjoy what you’ve accomplished. (And then get back to work on the next book!)

The biggest difference between the first and second book releases is that now I have readers who are actively looking forward to reading the new book. It’s a lot of fun to hear from readers.

We loved looking at all of your NaNoWriMo pictures from your trip abroad! Is PIRATE VISHNU your NaNoWriMo novel?

Mont-St-Michel-storm-by-Gigi-Pandian-webres-textBoth ARTIFACT and PIRATE VISHNU are NaNoWriMo novels. Before I had a publishing contract and “real” deadlines to meet, National Novel Writing Month was the way for me to learn to write to a deadline. If it hadn’t been for that challenge, I would never have completed a novel.

It’s tempting to revise as you go along, but when you’re a beginning writer, it’s far too easy to get stuck in the middle of a novel and never reach the end. No matter how bad your first draft is, once it’s complete, you can go back and revise it. It’s a system I love so much that I continue to write new novels with NaNoWiMo.

Part of PIRATE VISHNU takes place in India, and I understand you traveled there before writing it. Did the trip change your original story idea?

India-2010-Gigi-Pa-Kanyakumari-webres-textMy dad is from India, and I’ve traveled there several times. It was on my most recent trip in 2010 that I came up with a key plot twist in PIRATE VISHNU. I had already written a rough draft of the book, but it was lacking the twists and turns of ARTIFACT. When my dad and I were traveling up the western coast of Kerala, from the southern tip of India to Fort Kochi, the plot fell into place.

What cool tidbits from your overseas trip didn’t get a mention in the novel?

India is such a vibrant country that I’m going to answer this question in pictures: India-2010-Gigi-in-Fort-Cochin-outside-Dutch-Cemetery-webresIndia-2010-Elephant-walking-down-highway-Gigi-Pandian-webresIndia-2010-Madurai-temple-west-tower-closeup-Gigi-Pandian-webres


















Please tell us about your current projects. Are there more Jaya Jones adventures in the future?

France-2013-Nantes-Gigi-w-elephant-webres-textRight now I’m working on the next book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. I’m still calling it “Jaya Book 3” because it doesn’t yet have a title – if anyone out there has any great ideas, please let me know! The story takes Jaya and Lane from San Francisco to Paris to Mont St. Michel and involves an art heist, the French Revolution, and, of course, a treasure hunt!

I’m also writing a new mystery series, beginning with THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST, about a female alchemist and her impish gargoyle sidekick who was accidentally brought to life by a French stage magician. Like the Jaya Jones books, this new series involves a lot of fascinating true history and a sense of adventure.

I’m discovering that writing two different series is helping me keep my ideas fresh. My characters have a way of taking on lives of their own, and my new writing schedule gives them time to figure out what their next adventures will be.

Good things come in threes! CONGRATULATIONS to THREE Henery Press Authors on their Agatha Award Nominations

CONGRATULATIONS to our THREE Henery Press Authors on their Agatha Award Nominations:

Best First Novel:
BOARD STIFF by Kendel Lynn
Best Short Story:
“The Hindi Houdini” by Gigi Pandian

We’re so proud, so happy, so delighted for these talented authors! We’ll be cluckin and feather-flappin for weeks!!So many wonderful things come in threes: Three French hens, Three Musketeers, Three Dog Night, Three Coins in a Fountain, three Bronte sisters, three bean salad, three holes in a bowling ball…

Here’s the full list of Agatha nominations:

*Agatha Award winners will be announced at the banquet during Malice Domestic on May 3, 2014.


Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley)

You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa (Pocket Books)

Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn (Henery Press)

Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (Kensington)

Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker (Henery Press)


“Evil Little Girl” by Barb Goffman, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (Wildside Press)

“Nightmare” by Barb Goffman, Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (Wildside Press)

“The Hindi Houdini” by Gigi Pandian, Fish Nets (Wildside Press)

“Bread Baby” by Barbara Ross, Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold (Level Best Books)

“The Care and Feeding of House Plants” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2013


Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur Books)

Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)

Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (Kensington Books)

The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)


Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)

Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George (Untreed Reads Publishing)

A Friendly Game of Murder by JJ Murphy (Signet)

Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

A Question of Honor by Charles Todd (William Morrow)


Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester (Source Books Inc.)

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova (Viking Penguin)

Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic’s First 25 Years by Verena Rose and Rita Owen, Editors (Wildside Press)

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)


The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery by Kathleen Ernst (American Girl Mysteries)

Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz)

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books)

Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner (Edgmont USA)

New on NetGalley

Treasures Abound

DIP PV dual email blastRisk takers of all kinds will find something fun on NetGalley this week. From buried pirate treasure to casino jackpots, Gigi Panidan’s PIRATE VISHNU and Gretchen Archer’s DOUBLE DIP are two winners of a read.


A century-old treasure map of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. Sacred riches from India. Two murders, one hundred years apart. And a love triangle. Historian Jaya Jones has her work cut out for her. An ancestor of Jaya’s who came to the U.S. from India draws a treasure map. Over a century later, the cryptic treasure map remains undeciphered. From San Francisco to the southern tip of India, Jaya pieces together her ancestor’s secrets, maneuvers a  complicated love life she didn’t count on, and puts herself in the path of a killer to restore a revered treasure.


It’s Davis Way’s first slot-tournament season. And it may be her last. Things are dicey at work. A personal assistant goes missing, a little old lady goes on a suspicious winning streak, and a Bellissimo executive goes gaga for Davis. She follows a disappearing slot-tournament player trail to the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church in Beehive, Alabama, then jumps headlong into a high stakes holy scandal. She’s on a losing streak at home, too. Her days, nights, and dinners run together, as Davis juggles a revolving door of uninvited guests, namely her rotten ex-ex-husband, Eddie Crawford. The worst? Davis doesn’t feel so hot. Maybe it’s the banana pudding, or maybe it’s a little bundle of something else.

The early bird gets the book! Pop on over to NetGalley to download your copy today.


The Hen House Staff

X Marks the Spot!

Pirate Vishnu by Gigi Pandian


PIRATE VISHNUA cover as adventurous as the book!  Grab your magnifying glass and canvas bag, PIRATE VISHNU, the second book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series will take you on a wild ride into the heart of India. Author Gigi Pandian promises just as much excitement and thrills as the first.

A century-old treasure map of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. Sacred riches from India. Two murders, one hundred years apart. And a love triangle… Historian Jaya Jones has her work cut out for her.

The treasure hunt begins February 2014.

Visit us on the Henery Press website to find out more. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments – to the Hen House or Gigi.  We’d love to hear from you.


The Hen House Staff


Book Release Day! ARTIFACT by Gigi Pandian

ARTIFACTJoining us today is Gigi Pandian, author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries and the fabulous newest addition to the Hen House family. Stay tuned as she talks self-publishing, travelling, working with Henery, and everything in between.

Henery: After your agent pitched your manuscript tirelessly to publishing houses, you finally decided to publish ARTIFACT yourself.  Now that you’ve re-released ARTIFACT with Henery, what are the benefits of publishing with a publishing company vs self-publishing?

Gigi: Self-publishing is so much work if you want to do it right. I could probably write a book on the subject at this point, but I’ll be brief here. (I’ve taught some workshops on the subject plus written blog posts and articles about it, so if you’re interested in reading more, you can start here:

With self-publishing, the author has all the control. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. You can publish your writing exactly as you envision it and on your own schedule, but you’re also responsible for everything that goes on behind the scenes with publishing a book. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but also a wonderful learning experience about the publishing industry. It’s still an uphill battle to get noticed in a crowded marketplace, but because I had a good book and put in the work, I was able to find success.

However, it was difficult for me to spend so much of my mental energy on the technical aspects of publishing. I got into writing because I wanted to be a writer, not a publisher. I’m lucky that my agent was supportive of my decision to self-publish after we’d come so close to book deals; she believed in Artifact and wanted to see it out in the world. And now I’m happy I’m in such good hands at Henery Press. They take care of all of the back-end publishing details I didn’t like dealing with, plus a lot more that I was never able to do myself. The best part? Now I have time to focus on writing!

1985 Gigi with a bagpiper by Loch Ness Scotland - webres cropHenery: You seem to draw several aspects of ARTIFACT from your own life, such as your anthropologist parents, your advanced studies, and your time in England, Scotland, and India. How much of the story would you say actually comes from your own life experiences and how closely do you relate to Jaya?

Gigi: When I was a kid traveling with my mom on her research trips to Europe, I would make up adventure stories based on the cool locations we’d visit, like Loch Ness in Scotland. Those travels made an impression on me and made me want to write adventurous mysteries set in foreign countries — though unlike Jaya’s adventure in Artifact, I’ve never found any jewel-encrusted treasures in real life.

I’m not Jaya, but we do share some things in common. We both come from two worlds, with one American parent and one parent from India. But Jaya was born in India, has more of a tragic past, and is more pragmatic and scholarly than I am — which leads to your next question.

Henery: Like Jaya, you were working toward your PhD, but you decided to leave education and write mysteries instead. It must take a lot of courage and bravery to make such an adjustment. What made you come to that decision?

Gigi: When I left my PhD program, I didn’t actually have a plan! I only knew that I wasn’t enjoying academic research, so I knew I didn’t want to spend my life doing it. Without a job or a plan of any kind, I packed my belongings into my car (everything fit except for my books, which I had to ship) and moved to a town I’d fallen in love with one summer during college. I got a part-time job at a non-profit organization I loved, began taking art school courses, and started tinkering with writing a novel.

Henery: You’ve accomplished so much since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. You’re now a published mystery author and spend your time working for a non-profit organization. Were you able to continue writing during treatments or did you have to put writing on hold during that time?

Gigi: It was the month following my 36th birthday when I received my diagnosis. Not something I expected! But I’m not good at feeling sorry for myself or being bored, so when my immune system was shot during chemotherapy treatments I worked from home. I also needed something to do in my free time while I was tired and trapped at home. During my year of treatments, I gave myself the project of self-publishing Artifact so I’d have something positive to focus on. I also wrote a draft of a novel during National Novel Writing Month that year. I got the words down on paper, but my style wasn’t quite the same as usual, so that book needs a lot of rewriting. (And no, I’m not super-human. I just have the world’s greatest husband, parents, and friends, all of whom who helped out a lot!)

Henery: Since your recovery, you’ve blogged about living your life fully and adventurously. What are some of your favorite places you’ve been or things you’ve done? Or what do you hope other people reading your blog will take away from it?

Gigi: Life is uncertain for all of us, so I hope by sharing my journey that I can inspire people to follow their dreams. If you ever wanted to write a novel or go on your dream vacation “someday,” do it today.

I used to travel a lot when I was younger — the youth hostel/backpacking type of thing. But after getting caught up in a career, I didn’t travel as much. Cancer made me reevaluate my priorities. In the past year I’ve traveled to London, Lisbon, Paris, and Prague. Great writing material for future adventures for Jaya…

It’s gratifying to be contacted by other women who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, who’ve thanked me for sharing my experiences — the good and the bad. One experience that sums up the good and the bad wrapped up in one is when my amazing writers group threw a party to take me wig shopping. They picked out fun wigs for me, making the experience of losing my hair less scary and rather fun.

Henery: So you’ve told us your fav book is Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters. What draws you to this particular book?

Gigi: There are so many mystery novelists who credit Elizabeth Peters with inspiring them to write mysteries. I’m one of them. She writes clever puzzle plots in a humorous voice, featuring brilliant female heroines who go on exciting adventures with a touch of romance. It’s been one of the biggest thrills of my publishing journey that so many reviewers are comparing Artifact to an Elizabeth Peters novel. It was another thrill to meet Elizabeth Peters (real name Barbara Mertz) in person at the Malice Domestic mystery convention last year.

Gigi Pandian and Elizabeth Peters Malice 2012 - webres squareGigi Pandian with Elizabeth Peters signing Malice 2012 webresBorrower of the Night is the first book in Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mystery series. It’s an adventure that takes Midwestern history professor Vicky Bliss to a German castle on a quest for a lost historical item. If you enjoy reading Artifact, you’ll love Borrower of the Night and the rest of the Vicky Bliss series.

Sign up for Gigi’s email newsletter to receive a free, exclusive Halloween-themed short story in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series this October:

And don’t forget to add ARTIFACT to your bookshelf today!  AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, KOBO


Fresh Meat: Artifact by Gigi Pandian

ARTIFACTArtifact by Gigi Pandian is a traditional mystery debut and the first in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series, in which a historian’s led by a jewel-encrusted Indian artifact to a Scottish legend of lost treasure. (available August 6, 2013).

With Artifact we meet the lively Miss Jaya Jones, a study in contrasts. She’s a distinguished professor who loves to wear stilettos to heighten her five-foot frame, studies trade routes and military skirmishes of the British East India Company, plays the tabla drum in a local restaurant two nights a week, lives in a small apartment above her eccentric landlady, and eats like a stevedore.

I think she must look somewhat like an ant when carrying the tabla case over her shoulder. Like most mystery heroines, however, there’s more to Jaya than meets the eye. I really liked her. She’s ambitious and doesn’t allow something as tedious as danger keep her from finding what she’s seeking.

Pandian brings us into the story at midnight. Not only does this add to the sinister atmosphere, it makes for a great exchange between Jaya and Nadia, her landlady. [Read more...]

Henery Press Loves Malice!!

The Hen House is chirping with excitement over our fun weekend at Malice Domestic. We met readers, fans, colleagues, and lots and lots of favorite authors. And oh, yeah, our very own Susan M. Boyer won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel!! Chicken kisses to Susan and her fantastic LOWCOUNTRY BOIL!!  So deserved and we are so proud of you!!

For more Malice scoop, peek at the pictures posted on our Facebook page. And you might want to read through these great blogs for more details and even more cute pics.

My First Malice, by LynDee Walker

Malice Domestic 2013! by Diane Vallere

Malice Domestic 25: Interview of a Lifetime, Friends Winning Agatha Awards, and More Fun! by Gigi Pandian

Marvelous Malice, by Catriona McPherson

“Oh Kaye!” Goes to Malice, by Kaye Barley

Our feathers will stay happily ruffled for a very long time. Mystery, mayhem, and Malice is soooo enjoyable! See you next year, little chickens…

Blogroll: Mystery Tribune


5 New Picks For The Lovers Of Cozy Mysteries

If you like cozy mysteries, make sure to check out these new exciting titles; you will not be disappointed:

LAST DINER STANDINGLast Diner Standing By Terri L. Austin: Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner.

Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year’s tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, chop shops, jealous girlfriends, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers in a battle for freedom she might not survive.

13520172Pillow Stalk By Diane Vallere: Interior Decorator Madison Night has modeled her life after Doris Day’s character in Pillow Talk, but when a killer targets women dressed like the bubbly actress, Madison’s signature sixties style places her in the middle of a homicide investigation.

The local detective connects the new crimes to a twenty-year old cold case, and Madison’s long-trusted contractor emerges as the leading suspect. As the body count piles up like a stack of plush pillows, Madison uncovers a Soviet spy, a campaign to destroy all Doris Day movies, and six minutes of film that will change her life forever.

CROPPED TO DEATHCropped to Death By Christina Freeburn: Former US Army JAG specialist, Faith Hunter, returns to her West Virginia home to work in her grandmothers’ scrapbooking store determined to lead an unassuming life after her adventure abroad turned disaster. But her quiet life unravels when her friend is charged with murder, and Faith inadvertently supplied the evidence.

So Faith decides to cut through the scrap and piece together what really happened. With a sexy prosecutor, a determined homicide detective, a handful of sticky suspects and a crop contest gone bad, Faith quickly realizes if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next one cropped. [Read more...]

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