Awards: 2023 Malice Domestic Agatha Award Nominees

Congratulations to our Sisters in Crime – CO members for their Malice Domestic Agatha Award Nominees!!

Best Short Story: “There Comes a Time,” Cynthia Kuhn

Best Non-Fiction: Promophobia, includes Donnell Bell’s essay, “Gain Name Recognition Before You’re Published”

Best Children’s/YA Mystery: Daybreak on Raven Island, Fleur Bradley

Chapter Meeting: Finding and Wrangling Historical Research for Your Writing & Writing Believable Fight Scenes

Quarterly Chapter Meeting/Event: February 4, 2023

Lone Tree Library, 10055 Library Way, Lone Tree, Colorado 80124 (303-791-READ)

Also Via Zoom; (Information on how to join the presentation will be posted in the Sisters in Crime-Colorado members listserv.)

Please note: Chapter meetings are a member only benefit. You can learn more about us and our chapter here:

To request more information, please use our contact form:


9:30 am – 10:00 am   Welcome, Announcements

10:00 am – 12:00 pm   Finding and Wrangling Historical Research for Your Writing by Melissa Robbins

Readers want to be transported whether they go down the street, across the world, or back in time.  If you get those historical details wrong, a reader might cast aside your book. Melissa will share her resources to find those details, tips on wrangling them, and how to incorporate those historical finds into your story.

12:00pm – 1:00 pm   Lunch (brown bag or visit nearby restaurants)

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm   Writing Believable Fight Scenes by J.T. Evans

J.T. Evans was horribly bullied in junior high, and these events drove him to find training in martial arts around his 13th birthday. He’s been in and out of martial arts since that summer and has learned a wide variety of skills and arts from many great instructors. He’s touched on many different styles throughout the decades, but the most important changes martial arts drilled into him were self confidence and compassion for others. Yes, he knows how to fight, but he also knows how to avoid physical confrontation when possible.

Join J.T as he talks about writing, fighting, and how by adding accuracy, our story lines can sizzle!

RVSP on our Meet-Up Page or through our Groups.IO Listserv

The Zoom login information will be posted in the chapter’s listserv.

About the Presenters:

Melissa Robbins writes historical mysteries set in World War Two and the Roaring Twenties. She grew up near Washington, DC, influencing her love of history and museums. She hasn’t met a museum she didn’t like. A child of the 80’s, naturally Melissa’s first story involved a winged unicorn with a rainbow mane ‘published’ in her fourth grade class. Melissa is the Vice President of the Sisters in Crime Colorado Chapter.

J.T. Evans writes fantasy and urban fantasy novels. He’ll dabble with sci-fi and horror in short form as well. He is the former president of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group and Pikes Peak Writers. When not writing, he secures computers at the Day Job, and plays way too many tabletop games. Despite having his right arm amputated and reattached after a nasty car crash, he types faster than the average bear. He is the author of the Modern Mythology and Flashing Blades series and is hastily working on more right now.

J.T joined the Gnome Stew Crew in March of 2016. Since that time, he has written dozens of articles for the site and has earned three gold ENNIE award – awards given to role-playing game products and their creators  (2016, 2017, and 2018) as part of the team at Gnome Stew.

Publication News: Promophobia edited by Diane Vallere

Publishing a book can be scary. Figuring out how to promote it can be straight-up frightening. When the seas of book promo make you feel adrift in unfriendly tides, keeping your head above water can be difficult. Enter PROMOPHOBIA, a collection of essays that just might save the life of your book.

Divided into categories: Identifying Your Niche, Book Community, Social Media, Online Promo, Publicity, Connecting With Readers, Going On Your Own or Participating with a Group, Events, and Thinking Outside the Box, PROMOPHOBIA will open your eyes to the opportunities around you. The contributing authors share their personal experiences about what’s worked for them (and in a few humorous cases, what didn’t) to provide a beacon. You’re no longer in the dark. You’re not swimming alone.

If you’ve ever wondered if you could have done more for your latest book launch, then this book is for you. If you’re tired of relying on the same old strategies release after release, then this book is for you. If you want to readjust your sails and angle for a fresh gust of wind to carry you farther on your writing journey, then this book is for you.

This is not a how-to book. It’s an anecdotal anthology of essays about seeing possibilities, building connections, believing in our work, making mistakes, totally f*ing up, and trying something new. It is a collection of stories told over smoothies at the gym or drinks at the bar, shared with the same spirit of community that infuses Sisters in Crime.

The next time you find yourself swimming in dark promotional waters, read an essay or two from PROMOPHOBIA. Instead of drowning in fear, you’ll find yourself saying, “I’m going to need a bigger book.”

Sisters in Crime is the premier crime writing association focused on equity and inclusion in our community and in publishing. Founded in 1986 to represent and advocate for women crime writers, we celebrate and honor this history with our name while we continue to work for all who share our commitment to and love for a vibrant, inclusive community. Our 4,500+ members enjoy access to tools to help them learn, grow, improve, thrive, and reinvent if necessary. They also gain a community of supportive fellow writers and readers, both peers to share the peaks and valleys of writing, and mentors to model the way forward.



Barnes & Noble


On Sale: Black Pearl, a Cold Case Suspense by Donnell Ann Bell

Donnell Bell’s award-winning book Black Pearl, a Cold Case Suspense is on sale for $0.99 January 16-31 at all digital outlets.

A cold case heats up when a 9-1-1 call puts police at a Denver murder scene, pointing investigators to the abduction of a Colorado teenager fourteen years earlier. A calling card—a single black pearl—is found on the newest victim. Is the murder a copycat? Or has a twisted serial killer, thought dead or in prison, returned to strike again?

Soon, the hunt for a multi-state killer is on and brings together an unexpected team: a Denver Major Crimes police lieutenant; an FBI special agent who investigated the previous murders; a rookie FBI agent with a specialty in psychology; and the only living victim of the Black Pearl Killer, who is now a cop.

For Special Agent Brian DiPietro, the case is an opportunity to find answers. For Officer Allison Shannon, the case will force her to face down the town that blamed her for surviving when another did not. And for both DiPietro and Shannon, it’s a chance for both to find closure to questions that have tormented them for years.

“Suspense, romance, high-tension, pitch-perfect pacing. Donnell Ann Bell is simply a terrific storyteller.” —Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

Publication News: Chasing Karma by Terry Shepherd

Happy Book Birthday to Sisters in Crime – CO member, Terry Shepherd! His book Chasing Karma (The Jessica Ramirez Thrillers Book 3) releases today, January 10th.

The most dangerous adversary has nothing left to lose. Jessica Ramirez returns with a target on her back, the same supporting cast we’ve come to love and more twists than Chubby Checker could ever imagine. From the opening stand-off until the last sentence of the last chapter, Terry’s cinematic thrills never stop. Need a cardiovascular escape from reality? Let Jess raise your heart rate.

Here’s what best selling authors wrote about Chasing Karma:

Jessica Ramirez’s past catches up with her in Chasing Karma. A deadly assassin is on her trail and everyone she cares about is a target. There’s only one way to save them—Jessica must die.  Shepherd ramps up the tension as the chase ensues and not even Jessica’s closest friends know if she can survive. She risks it all. These are characters you want to spend time with, just don’t get Jessica’s bad side. Fans of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher will enjoy this kick-ass heroine.  — James L’Etoile, author of Dead Drop, Black label, and the Detective Penley series

“Fast paced and fun! Caused my heart to pound. Unputdownable.” —  S.M. Freedman, author of The Day She Died and Faithful


Event: January 2023 Book Club

You are cordially invited to attend Sisters in Crime-Colorado Book Club. We meet once a month via Zoom. Come ready to chat with the author and other readers! If you don’t have a chance to read the book, that’s quite all right. We discuss craft, publishing and other subjects too. Everyone is welcome! Book club is free and open to the public. For specific dates please see the schedule at

PLEASE NOTE:  Sisters in Crime-Colorado members can get the link to the Zoom meeting on the chapter listserv. Non-members may request the meeting link by emailing  


January’s selection is The Lava Witch by Debra Bokur.

In a remote, mountainous area of a Maui forest near Haleakala volcano, the naked body of a young woman is found hanging from a tree. The devil is in the details: the woman’s nostrils, mouth, and lungs are packed with lava sand. Her hands are bound in twine. Her feet are charred and blackened, suggesting a fire-walking ceremony. Detective Kali Māhoe’s suspicions are immediately aroused. It has all the signs of a ritual torture and murder.

But Kali’s investigation soon leads her down a winding trail of seemingly unconnected clues and diverging paths—from the hanging tree itself, a rare rainbow eucalyptus, to rumors of a witch haunting the high areas of the forest, to the legend of the ancient Hawaiian sorceress Pahulu, goddess of nightmares. Casting a shadow over it all—the possibility of a Sitting God, a spirit said to invade and possess the soul.

Aided by her uncle Police Captain Walter Alaka’i, Officer David Hara, and the victim’s brother, Kali embarks down the darkest road of all. One that is leading to the truth of the mountain’s deadly core and a dark side of the island for which even Kali is unprepared.

Cover Reveal: Standing Dead (A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Book 8) by Margaret Mizushima

Sisters in Crime – CO member, Margaret Mizushima is thrilled to reveal the cover of her latest Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, Standing Dead. The book releases March 7th. Available for preorder now.

Deputy Mattie Cobb and her sister, Julia, travel to Mexico to visit their mother, but when they arrive, they discover that she and her husband have vanished without a trace. Back in Timber Creek, Mattie finds a chilling note on her front door telling her to look for “him” among the standing dead up in the high country.
The sheriff’s department springs into action and sends a team to the mountains, where Mattie’s K-9 partner, Robo, makes a grisly discovery—a body tied to a dead pine tree. Mattie is shocked when she realizes she knows the dead man. And then another note arrives, warning that Mattie’s mother is in desperate straits. In a last-ditch gambit, Mattie must go deep undercover into a killer’s lair to save her mother—or die trying.