Kensington CozyClub Mini-Con October 2022
After a delay of three years, I finally got a chance to attend a Kensington CozyClub Mini-Con!
In 2019, the pandemic put paid to Kensington Publishing’s usual slate of CozyClub mini-conventions, aimed at lovers of cozy mysteries and held regionally on a regular basis. Now that it’s 2022 however, things have gotten safe enough to kick off their new mini-con slate! Arranged with the help of the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop, the CozyClub Mini-Con had its triumphant return last month on October 8th at the Shiremanstown United Methodist Church, in Shiremanstown, Pennsylvania.
Featuring eleven Kensington authors, the free event was a thrill for the attendees, who were treated not only to goodie bags and snacks, but also to the opportunity to get to know their favorite authors better. With plenty of books available to buy, attendees had the chance to meet Gabby Allan, Christin Brecher, Lynn Cahoon, Maya Corrigan, Peggy Ehrhart, Darci Hannah, Sherry Harris, Julia Henry, Tina Kashian, Libby Klein, and Darcie Wilde, as well as to get their autographs and pose for pictures with them. Alex Erickson, unfortunately, had to withdraw at the last minute but was ably replaced by show emcee and local writer Mike Silvestri.
Perhaps the most exciting portion of the mini-con was the “speed dating” event, where each author circulated from guest table to table to talk a little bit about themselves and their books. My table learned that Gabby Allan is actually from the Mechanicsburg area and set her first series in a thinly veiled version of the town. Christin Brecher was proud of how her latest mystery novel, Photo Finished, has a much-lauded “meet cute” scene to rival that of any romantic comedy. Lynn Cahoon, author of the paranormal Kitchen Witch mystery series, has definitely had ghostly experiences that she thinks she should probably have paid more attention to.
Maya Corrigan pointed out that each installment of her Five-Ingredient mystery series is also written to include five suspects and five major clues. Peggy Ehrhart had plenty of praise for her amazing cover artist, Petur Antonsson. Unlike Lynn Cahoon, Darci Hannah doesn’t necessarily believe in ghosts… but she doesn’t not believe in them either. Sherry Harris talked about how the heroines of her two series reflect two different aspects of her life, with Sarah Winston being more like her everyday self while Chloe Jackson shows off her more adventurous side.
Julia Henry had terrific anecdotes about writing pseudonymously. Tina Kashian’s late father was very happy that she’s passing on her family recipes via her culinary cozies. Libby Klein brought an excellent placard presentation to introduce us to her series. And, finally, Darcie Wilde played table Scrabble with us and answered our burning questions about publication.
In addition to these excellent and informative “speed dating” sessions, attendees participated in raffles and a trivia game, and had the chance to browse the wares of local vendors. Bookmarksical Candle Boutique offered an enticing array of cozy mystery-themed scents, while Peschel Press had a wonderful selection of books and bags for the discerning mystery reader.
Save the Date – Sunday, December 4th 2022
The October CozyClub Mini-Con was Kensington’s only mini-con of the year, but they are partnering with Richmond, Virginia’s Fountain Bookstore to sponsor An Afternoon Of Cozy Mystery Talks on Sunday, December 4th with seven of their authors. Valerie Burns, Maya Corrigan, Winnie Archer, and Libby Klein will sit on the Felony Flavor Culinary Cozy panel, while Ellery Adams, Krista Davis, and Sherry Harris will discuss small business sleuths on the Managing Murder panel. Tickets are $15 with $10 of that going to the book (or books!) of your choice.