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  • Sherry Ickes

Fun at the Cozy Mystery Fete 2023 in Shiremanstown, PA

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


author group image

Back Row (left to right): Diane Vallere, Olivia Blacke

Middle Row (left to right): Misty Simon/Gabby Allan, Rosalie Spielman, Amy M. Reade, Melissa F. Miller, Korina Moss, Libby Klein, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Judy L. Murray

Front Row (left to right): Geri Krotow, Catherine Bruns, Eileen Haavik McIntire, Mindy Quigley, Sheryl C.D. Ickes

 

Talk about a busy two weeks! I had just got done with doing Chocolate Town Book Fest at the Hershey Library on Oct. 7th, and then had a blast with the Cozy Mystery Fete the following weekend, on Oct. 14th. Hosted by the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop, this event was wonderfully scheduled by a small number of caring staff. I had a great time meeting up with my fellow cozy mystery authors and being able to chat with all of the attending readers. (Who were fabulous to brave the downpour of rain that drenched the day.)


One of my favorite parts of the event was the Author Round-About, aka author speed-dating. It is not only fast moving, at five minutes a table, but also a joy to talk about my books with people who enjoy cozy mysteries and to hear back from them. Because feedback helps me to improve and get better for next time!

 
myself and my books

As the readers descended upon the great church venue, I was able to quickly set up at my section of the author tables against one side of the large room. And yes, that is a nice size pile of chocolate by my right hand. Chocolate is a must, you know. 😂


Each of the authors' set-up was a similar display like mine; with their books, handouts, and sometimes posters. It was interesting to see what all everyone did, since they were as unique as the individual decorating! And one of the authors even brought a large piece of fake cheese for her table. I must admit, that it did look rather tasty.


After the owner of the bookshop, Deb, started off the day with a few announcements, we were underway for the author speed dating. Author Bill Peschel was the emcee for the day and made sure that we stayed on track with the time. Located in Hershey, he runs Peschel Press with his wife, Teresa, and they had a booth there with their wide array of novels.

bill peschel and a microphone

Author Bill Peschel talking into the microphone as he announces the next item in the schedule.

 

Throughout the day, there were opportunities to purchase not only my books, but all of the others' as well. Of course, right?! What kind of book event would it be if there were not books to purchase? The tables were loaded with books all underneath the genre of cozy mysteries. There was certainly something for everyone's interests with different series centered on pizzerias, cheese shops, fabric stores, bakers, bed and breakfasts, record shops, etc.

tables full of books

I must say, that it was well organized as the staff and volunteers had lists up with all the book titles mentioned, their respective prices, divided by series, and listed in order within the series! AND it was arranged alphabetical by author's last name. Talk about a tall order with fifteen authors and over 100 books!

 

Thankfully, there was a break in the middle for the authors to rest their throats and for readers to snatch up one of the snacks available. It was a tough choice between Rice Krispies treats, packaged up like little monsters for Halloween, and small chip bags in a variety of chip flavors. (P.S. the Rice Krispies treats won out!)


We even had a cool round of Cozy Mystery Bingo that was themed after the event and included trivia from the authors and their books/series. It took a long time for someone to win, longer than I would think anyone expected. But when one of the readers finally did, THREE of them raised their hands, and called out "BINGO" in excitement.


me at a table, talking with readers

Afterwards, it was right back into the swing of finishing up the author speed-dating. As you can see me in the picture to the right, I like to use my books as a prop while discussing who my main characters are and what my two series are about; one in baking and one in truck driving. (because they go together like cookies and milk, right? 🤣


At the end of the day, raffles were drawn and a guessing game winner was announced! When I heard that the winner guessed the exact number of little plastic bones in the jar, I was surprised. Who would have thought to write down the number 222? Apparently, she did!

 

One of the things that made the day special for me, was the fact that it was the first time I had my latest novella, Shiver Me Snowman, out in paperback. I am pleased to announce that it sold very well and I am glad that it will be carried at the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop.

announcing my new novella
 

For those people who are looking for some bookishly cool accessories, or for things to get the book lovers in their lives, one of the vendors at the Fete had mystery-themed candles. The dangerously cool-named scents, like Snickerdoodle Strangler and Murder on the Orient Expresso, are crafted by a lady who runs a small business named Mourning Moon Candles. (She is rebranding from Bookmarksical). Check out the other neat items she creates in the following image:


mourning moon candles merch
 

Once again, I would like to say a special thanks to all of the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop for their hard work behind the scenes. It was a well run event that had few hiccups and went so smoothly, there was nothing else to do, but to enjoy having fun! That is the best kind of event and I look forward to coming back some day real soon.

myself and a reader, chris

Oh, and I forgot to say about the recipe cards we had out for everyone to take at the back of the room! My daughter did a great job designing them and I will have to remember to share a pic of them another time. Having too much fun can cause me to forget to take images to share on my blog or social media. The photographer at the event, Barb, was very nice in sharing these images with me, including the one right above with me and one of the readers, Chris. What else can I say? It was a wonderful event with good people, many books, and was an overall great day. Enough said.

 



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