Reliving Left Coast Crime

Ah, the memories…

Two weeks ago, I left on a Tuesday for the 2023 Left Coast Crime Convention. (If you haven’t been, put it on your bucket list. NOW!) I love Left Coast for the conviviality, the great panels, and the ARCs – Author-Reader Connections. These are small events authors host that give us a chance to get to know our readers better. I did three: a kickoff toast with friends from the Cozy Mystery Crew Facebook group; a solo breakfast with three readers; and a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with your very own Chicks, along with Libby Klein and J.C. Eaton (Ann and Jim) of the Cozy Mystery Crew. I also had the honor of being the LCC 2023 Toastmaster.

LCC rotates locations. This year, it was at this glorious resort in Tucson…

The con didn’t officially start until Thursday, so on Wednesday Libby and I rented a car, along with my pal Ruth Behling, and we tootled around Tucscon, which is an awesome city. O course, we had to pay a visit to one of the two Saguaro National Parks…

(The last picture is what a Saguaro looks like inside. It’s from a different day, but whatevs.)

Thursday, the con kicked off, as did my toasting duties. Not gonna lie, I was nervous. But I survived, as did the attendees.

There were more great panels on Friday, and I hosted a movie night where we screened THE LAST OF SHEILA. And then… Our St. Patrick’s Day celebration! You know those ads that pop up selling Piecakens? Well, we splurged… and got a St.Patcaken!

The crazy thing was Guinness Green Velvet cake on top of Bailey’s Cheesecake on top of Whiskey Pecan Pie, all coated with Salted Caramel buttercream frosting. Sound horrifying? It was DELICIOUS.

Below is a picture of Chicks X Cozy Mystery Crew. Lisa will kill me for using this photo, but I love it!

Saturday’s events including a signing hosted by Kensington, where I gave away copies of TOMORROW’S RELEASE, FOUR PARTIES AND A FUNERAL, MY 4TH CATERING HALL MYSTERY! (More on that tomorrow, BTW).

Fun story here. The woman I strong-armed into signing up for my newsletter is Francesca Sims, a writer/reader who’s a fellow Tulane alum. We met in October at the parents-alum weekend, I told her about Left Coast… and she came!

And of course, Saturday night brought the big banquet, where I hung with friends like phenomenal blogger Dru Ann Love of Dru’s Book Musings, and phenomenally talented author Catriona McPherson.

The banquet was made incredibly special for me this year thanks to two very special guests who flew in for the weekend…

And I got this super cool trophy for toastmastering! (That’s the amazing LCC co-chair Lucinda Surber with me.)

The con finished up on Sunday. Leslie, hubby Jerry, and I took a hike near the hotel that they purported to be “easy to moderate.” Knock off the “easy” and you have a way better description of it. But it was gorgeous. Here are Leslie and me doing our imitation of a Saguaro.

Before departing Tucson on Monday, the fam and I got to have lunch poolside with my buddy Ruth…

Thanks so much for baring with this travelogue! If you haven’t figured it out yet from the bazillion pix I shared, I loved every minute of Left Coast Crime 2023. I’ll be living off the memories for a long, long time. Or at least until Left Coast Crime 2024 in Bellevue, WA!

Readers, have you ever been to a convention? Do you have great memories from one? If you haven’t, what convention do you dream of attending?

47 thoughts on “Reliving Left Coast Crime

  1. I’ve been to the Dark Shadows 50th Reunion Convention in Tarrytown, NY. It was a thrill to meet the actors that I have admired for so many years. They had all kinds of events and we attended as many as we could. Took lots of pictures, bought books and pictures to get signed and chat with them for a minute. David Selby kissed me on the cheek. Biggest thrill ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I attended Malice Domestic twice & loved every minute! I met so many wonderful writers (including you 🙂) and enjoyed the panel discussions and the banquets. LCC sounds just as wonderful, since I have family in Seattle I am definitely thinking about combining a visit with LCC 2024!

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  3. Thanks for sharing, El. Looks like a fab time. I know for a fact hanging with the Chicks is always a party! Congrats again on your Lefty win!!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. But you neglected to mention one of the most important things, El–that YOU WON THE LEFTY AWARD FOR BEST HUMOROUS MYSTERY!!! Congats!

    It was indeed a swell con–as it always is–and so fun to get to meet Jer and Eliza and hang out with you! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, El: Consider yourself KILLED! (For anyone alarmed by this ref, see post, lol.) I will have my true revenge at Malice. Thanks, though, for this warm and wonderful recap, and congrats again on the Lefty! So great to see everyone, and looking forward to seeing more of you next month in Bethesda.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Had a blast at my first LCC! Such an inspiring group of writers – and everyone was so welcoming and kind. We couldn’t have had a better toastmaster than Ellen! Hoping to make it to many more of these in years to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, this sounds like an amazing experience! I love attending conventions and meeting fellow readers and authors, but Left Coast Crime Convention sounds like it’s on a whole other level. The ARCs, author-reader connections, and panels all sound fantastic, but what really stood out to me were the personal events with readers, like the solo breakfast and St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It’s great to be able to connect with readers on a more intimate level and get to know them better.

    And that St. Patcaken! I have to admit, the sound of a Guinness Green Velvet cake on top of Bailey’s Cheesecake on top of Whiskey Pecan Pie with Salted Caramel buttercream frosting does sound a bit overwhelming, but I’m definitely intrigued. It’s always fun to try new and unique desserts.

    It’s also great to hear about the connections you made with other attendees, like Francesca Sims and the special guests who flew in for the weekend. And of course, the trophy for being the toastmaster is a great memento to remember the experience by.

    I’ve attended a few conventions myself, but none on this scale. Left Coast Crime Convention is definitely going on my bucket list now!


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