2021 Kindle Book Awards

Your Vote Matters!

Readers vote on the semi-finalists, so please click on the box below! Once there, type West of Famous by Joni M. Fisher to vote for my book.

Sweet Joy! 

What a joy to discover West of Famous is a semi-finalist in the 2021 Kindle Book Awards! Author Kevin G. Chapman sent an email congratulating me when he saw my book listed along with his. So, I celebrate this recognition. I am so proud of one of my darling paperback offspring. Am I tempted to wave a copy while dancing through the neighborhood? Oh, yes.

Mystery/Thriller (Semi-Finalists are in no particular order)

West of Famous by Joni Fisher
In Twilight’s Hush by Laurie Stevens
Just a Happy Camper by Jinx Schwartz
Deadline Rome by Sari Gilbert
Gods in the Ruins by E.R. Burr
Deadly Dance by BV Lawson
The Starlight Club 12 by Joe Corso
Once a Man Indulges by Tony Kelsey
I am Mayhem by Sue Coleta
The Lost Symphony by Gabriel Farago
River Running Backwards by Susan Clayton-Goldner
The Trafficking Murders by Brian O’Hare
Hit and Run by Amy Shojai
Rinn’s Crossing by Russell Heath
The Panama Murders by Pendleton Wallace
Hiding in Plain Sight by Lorhainne Eckhart
The Roach by Rhett C. Bruno
The Quisling Factor by JL Oakley
Lethal Voyage by Kevin G. Chapman
Tears of Fire by Gordon Bickerstaff


Thank you, thank you, Paul and Caryn Frink for all your patience, knowledge, and hospitality for hosting me on your boat and answering thousands of questions. You made the research stage of writing wonderfully fun!

Thank you to everyone who voted! Readers Rock!

Paul and Caryn Frink earn their Loopers gold burgee

Bouchercon 2018 from a First-timer

Long before I wrote my first story I was a reader. My favorite genres are suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. So imagine my joy at attending Bouchercon in St. Petersburg, Florida this month. Bouchercon is the World Mystery Convention, the premier annual event for readers, authors, and all lovers of crime fiction. As a local, I volunteered to stuff books into book bags for attendees ahead of the conference. The organizers were expecting 1500, so it was a long day.

Bouchercon book bags pile

After we filled all the carts, we stacked the book bags on the floor.

Bouchercon book bags in carts

Bouchercon book bagsAmong the volunteers were fans and authors. We were giddy with the selection of FREE BOOKS. Among the volunteers was Author J.D. Allen. Her latest book 19 Souls was among the giveaways we were adding to bags. I remember the beautiful cover.


19 Souls by J.D. Allen

After the 1500 bags were stuffed, super fan, Judy Bobalik invited all the volunteers to the upstairs bar for drinks. I had long drive home on I-4, so I had a soda. My hands were so sore from stuffing bags I drove home and stuck my hands in ice water.

Bouchercon at the Vinoy Renaissance ResortThe next day, Wednesday, September 5, I drove back to the Vinoy Renaissance Resort with my friend Author Donna Kelly. We checked in to the resort and then we picked up our registration packets and goodie bags (free books!). Going over the schedule, we found even more book giveaways at author signings. At registration, Donna and I met another first-time Bouchercon author named Frank Zafiro. A retired detective, he writes the River City Series, the Stefan Kopriva novels, and more.

We wandered around the resort to find the ballrooms where panel discussions would be held. We encountered gators.

Bouchercon gators

Bouchercon lineup

Donna in the author’s lineup.

And Donna stood in an author lineup. Donna wanted books signed by Lee Child and Michael Connelly. I said I’d be hunting down Diana Capri, Sara Paretsky, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Laura Lippman.

Bouchercon authors

Hank Phillippi Ryan autographed a book for me!


Donna Kelly meets Lee Child.


Michael Connelly signs a book or two for Donna.


Sara Paretsky, founder of Sisters in Crime, signed a book for me!

Laura Lippman taught a workshop at Eckerd College years ago that taught me significant lessons in story craft. I was long overdue in thanking her.


Laura Lippman autographed a book for me.

I ran into Kerry Lonsdale, whom I’d met at a Women’s Fiction Writers Conference in Albuquerque, NM.


Author Kerry Lonsdale put a selfie of us on her blog a few years ago, so…

The authors and fans blended into a giant excited crowd. When asked if we were authors or fans, we’d answer, “Yes.” How can you be a writer without being an avid reader? The 4-day event featured panel discussions on various topics, book signings, lunches, award banquets, and of course, what is known as barcon–gatherings in the bar until the staff scoots us out. The main bar at the Vinoy is in the main lobby. There people clustered on sofas and ottomans and balanced drinks on tiny tables while debating crime stories and favorite authors. Donna and I, as new members of Sisters in Crime, met other members at their breakfast gathering.

Bouchercon meeting room


Authors Christine King and Diane Capri shared writing stories.

I enjoyed chatting with Diana Capri and Christine King about boating, adventures, and writing. Diane juggles a number of series, one of which ties in with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. Diana served on a panel discussion titled “Familiar but New–Writing Established Characters.” Christine and Diane are also members of Sisters in Crime. They welcomed me as a new member.

Ah, fun. The 2019 Bouchercon will be in Dallas. I hope I can go. Back to work.

Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding

Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding presents Hawaiian society just before the attack on Pearl Harbor through the eyes of twenty-two-year-old Merrylei Wentworth in a seamless blend of history and fiction. The Wentworth family built their fortune in shipping, dating back to the days of Hawaiian royalty. After Merrylei’s father dies, she returns to Honolulu to restore the family mansion with plans to open it as a guesthouse. The grand house suffers from vandalism, age, and general inattention.

When Nisei (second-generation American-Japanese) Jamison Sumida offers architectural plans to restore the mansion, Merrylei is cautious. In 1941 Hawaiian society is sharply divided into racial and financial classes that place Jamison and Merrylei in separate social circles. Jamison wins her trust when he demonstrates his deep appreciation for paintings, specifically works created by Merrylei’s mother. Merrylei crosses an unspoken social boundary when she hires Jamison to assist in the mansion restoration.

cover of Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding

Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding

One of the first to object is businessman Jerry Caine who courts Merrylei. His charm and connections make him a very eligible bachelor. He is concerned for Merrylei’s safety alone at the mansion. Stolen royal jewels, curses, rumors of war, acts of vandalism, Japanese leasehold farmers who fear eviction, and the attack on Pearl Harbor threaten to prevent Merrylei from saving the family home.

As Merrylei comes of age–discovering her own strength–so does the nation at the outbreak of war.


In 2013 this story won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in the category of unpublished historical mystery/suspense under the title In a Sea of Change.