News Flash: BRIDGES BURNED nominated for an Agatha!

Last Saturday, I'd spent a wonderful day out with my writing buddies of our local Sisters in Crime chapter. We met for lunch and conversation at Chelsea Grille in Oakmont before walking across the street to Mystery Lovers Bookshop for our business meeting. The weather was lovely. We had a great turnout. I was re-elected as vice president.

When I came home, I noticed the light blinking on our answering machine. I expected a hangup or a telemarketing computer-generated voice, which is about all we receive on our landline any more. Instead there was a real, live person stating she was from Malice Domestic and could I please call her back.

Malice Domestic?

Last year, I'd received a similar call congratulating me for having my novel, Circle of Influence nominated for an Agatha for Best First. But that was last year. I knew it couldn't possibly be anything like that this time. They probably needed to confirm something with my registration.

Still, my hands shook so bad, I had to dial the number TWICE. "Hi," I said. "This is Annette Dashofy returning your call."

I don't really know what she said. I picked out certain words and blanked on the rest. Basically she congratulated me because Bridges Burned had been nominated for an Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

I hope I made sense in my reply. I don't think I screamed. I think I faked being professional but very very (VERY) happy.

In fact, I was delirious. And in shock. I never ever in a million years expected another nomination. I mean, I was in the BIG pond now. This is a category frequented by my idols and role models. My favorite authors. Hank Phillippi Ryan. Margaret Maron. Lousie Penny.

Last year after the Best First nomination phone call, I hung up and squealed. And happy danced. Hubby thought I was nuts. Well, okay. He already knows I am. Never mind.

This year after I hung up, I walked slowly up to Hubby who had no idea what was going on. I threw my arms around him and broke into tears as I told him. This year, Hubby's a little more savvy about what these things mean. He held me while I cried. And I think he smiled.

I was sworn to secrecy for a few days while the other nominees were notified. Thank heavens they called my home phone. Had I received that call on my cell phone in the middle of the meeting and been told to keep it quiet, I'd have imploded.

So here we go again! My expectations are decided low. Besides Hank, Margaret, and Louise, I'm sharing the nomination with Catriona McPherson whom I adore and admire and whose books I love. I plan to go along for the ride, breathe the rarefied air of being in the company of the elite.

Thanks to all who nominated me. I'll try to act respectable. I know I'm deeply honored.

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