RMMWA June Meeting

June 8, 2017 meeting

When: Thursday, June 8, 2017
Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 East Speer Blvd., Denver
6:30 p.m.: Social
7:00 p.m.: Dinner
8:00 p.m.: Program

Menu: TBA

Program: 10 Common Mistakes Fiction Writers Make About the Law by Leslie Budewitz

RMMWA member Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries and the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana. Death al Dente won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Treble at the Jam Fest, fourth in the series, will be published in June 2017.

Also a practicing lawyer, her guide for writers, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction, making her the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

Leslie served as 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, and is a founding member of the SinC Guppies chapter. She is the Montana representative to the board of the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America. She lives in NW Montana with her husband, a doctor of natural medicine and a musician, and their cat, an avid birdwatcher.

Connect with her at LeslieBudewitz.com or on Facebook, Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor

RSVP by Monday, June 5


RMMWA May Meeting

When: Thursday, May 11
Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 East Speer Blvd., Denver
6:30 p.m.: Social
7:00 p.m.: Dinner
8:00 p.m.: Program

Menu: Fire-grilled steak & chicken fajitas bar served with all the accompaniments: cilantro-lime rice or Spanish rice, flour tortillas, grilled peppers/onions, black bean salad, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and hot sauce, along with dessert. Iced tea, hot coffee and water are provided. Beer and wine will be available for sale.

RSVP by Monday, May 8

Speaker: Frank Arduini, who will talk about his experience in Russia as a Cold Warrior. More details to come.

RMMWA April Meeting

When: Thursday, April 13
Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 East Speer Blvd., Denver
6:30 p.m.: Social
7:00 p.m.: Dinner
8:00 p.m.: Program

RSVP by Monday, April 10
MENU:  Paris chicken…tender grilled chicken breast with fresh asparagus, wild mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic basil oil with roasted rosemary red potatoes along with a grilled apple salad consisting of grilled apples, walnuts, brie cheese, dried cranberries atop mixed greens, with walnut raspberry vinaigrette. Iced tea, hot coffee and water are provided. Beer and wine will be available for sale.

Program: Rich People Behaving Badly

Public respectability does not always translate into tidy private lives, and our interest in the naughty behavior of the rich and famous will never be satisfied. Former Denver Post reporter Dick Kreck takes us back through Colorado’s history to show that the voibles of people—rich or poor—remain the same. Included are socialites such as Louise Sneed Hill, who created and ruled over Denver’s “Sacred 36” circle of society; Jane Tomberlin, who met and fell in love with a “prince” in an elevator at the Brown Palace Hotel; and prominent Denver clubman Courtland Dines, who was wounded during a frolic with two silent-screen stars in his Holllywood apartment.

In words and vintage photographs, Rich People Behaving Badly exposes the scandals, murders, infidelities, financial misdeeds, and just plain misbehavior from Colorado’s past. Dick will also tie this talk into Murder at the Brown Palace, a related topic. His talk will focus on research, particiularly the benefits of the Denver Public Library.

Dick Kreck Bio: Born in San Francisco. Grew up in Glendale, California. Wrote and published his first newspaper at age 10.

Obtained BA in Journalism from San Francisco State College. Worked as a copy editor at the San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times. Joined The Denver Post in 1968 and held various editing jobs there, including a turn as editor of Roundup magazine. He wrote a city column for The Post for 18 years and covered local television and radio before he retired from the paper in June 2007.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame.

Reflecting his passion for local history, his books include Colorado’s Scenic Railroa

RMMWA Meeting: March 9

When: Thursday, Feb. 9
Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 East Speer Blvd., Denver
6:30 p.m.: Social
7:00 p.m.: Dinner
8:00 p.m.: Program

RSVP by Monday, March 6
Entrée salad bar with pecan chicken salad~strips of chicken with organic mixed field greens, pecans, spinach, brie and caramelized onions served with hazelnut orange vinaigrette and a southwest steak and onion bistro salad~strips of beef sirloin, mixed field greens, chopped romaine, shredded pepper jack, black bean and corn relish served with chipotle ranch dressing. Salads will accompanied by mini turkey sandwiches, fresh rolls and dessert. Iced tea, hot coffee and water are provided. Beer and wine will be available for sale.

Program: Aviation Security: Assessing Risks

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, our world changed.

The flying public, airline pilots and crew, airports, airlines and the entire aviation industry were suddenly exposed as soft targets.

Denny Dillard, president of Dillard Group International, has had a career worthy of a suspense novel. He’s an acclaimed expert in assessing threats due to cyber terrorism and cyber warfare; has taught law enforcement officers on domestic preparedness; briefed the U.S. Congress, their staffs and federal executive departments and agencies including the FBI, Dept. of Homeland Security; Federal Communications Commission; Federal Aviation Authority; Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and TSA.

Since 9/11, he’s worked closely with the FBI Transportation Crimes Unit, the FAA Flight Standards Office, and numerous aviation stakeholders to create an onboard counterterrorism strategy.

He crafted the original language for the Crew Member Self Defense Training Program which was added to the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, which armed pilots in aircraft. That language was added as an amendment to the Homeland Security Act and signed into law in November 2002.

Mr. Dillard was hired as the Acting Directory of Industry Training in the fledgling Transportation Security Administration, under President George W. Bush. He was also considered for TSA director in the Obama Administration.

Mr. Dillard began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department working the “beat” on skid row, Chinatown and Little Tokyo. He was hand-picked for LAPD’s 30-man “Strike Force” which targeted gangs throughout LA. He also was assigned to protect the 1984 Olympic athletes, Vice President George H.W. Bush and Pope John Paul, and ironically, the notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez, more popularly known as “The Night Stalker.”

He was also one of the youngest instructors at LAPD’s internationally renowned police academy, where he taught hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, and officer survival skills. He later transferred to the Riverside, California Police Academy, where his life story became worthy of any suspense novel.

Under his direction, Dillard Group International leverages superior operational expertise, credibility and powerful technology to provide security solutions for risks associated with violent crime and acts of terrorism against the world’s critical infrastructure and the people it serves.


RMMWA January meeting

A Story of Three Faces

DATE: Thursday, January 12
TIME: 6:30 socialization; 7:00 meal; 8:00 program
MENU: Make your own sandwich with sliced top sirloin, herb-crusted pork loin and/or chipotle-grilled chicken with an array of cheeses, tomato, shredded lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, and sliced red onions along with an assortment of deli breads and rolls, condiments, side salad and dessert.

PROGRAM: Former FBI agent Dale Lovin will talk about three separate incidents spanning more than a decade that involved sexual abuse, murder, and kidnapping for ransom. These cases are the foundation for his novel, The Mirror in the River, “an eye-to-eye look look at the tragedy of human trafficking and the loss of human dignity that is its sad companion.” (Amazon description). A second novel, Strangers, Lovers and the Winds of Time, enters the dark world of white extremist hate groups.

dale-lovin-author-photoDale spent twenty-five years as an agent with the FBI. The majority of his career was spent in the investigation of violent crimes. Then, following the tragedy of 9/11/01, he concluded his law enforcement years by helping to establish the Federal Air Marshal Service. He now lives in Colorado with his wife, has three children, and is an avid fly-fisher.

Margaret Coel honored at RMMWA holiday meeting

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America  holiday showcase  featured a tribute to the long, successful and ongoing career of mystery writer Margaret Coel.

margaretcoelMargaret Coel is the New York Times best-selling author of the acclaimed Wind River mystery series set among the Arapahos on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation and featuring Jesuit priest Father John O’Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden. Margaret published the 20th novel in that series, Winter’s Child, earlier this year and announced at the time the Wind River series was complete.

Five of Coel’s novels have received the Colorado Book Award. The Spirit Woman received the Willa Cather Award for Best Novel of the West and was a finalist for the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for Best Novel.

Margaret Coel is also the author of five non-fiction books including the award-winning Chief Left Hand, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. This biography of an Arapaho chief and history of the Arapahos in Colorado has never gone out of print. The Colorado Historical Society has included both Chief Left Hand and Margaret’s memoir-history of railroading in Colorado, Goin’ Railroading (which she wrote with her father, Samuel F. Speas) among the best 100 books on Colorado history.

The guest emcee for the evening was Francine Mathews, author of 10 mysteries and spy thrillers, including the recent Too Bad to Die. Writing as Stephanie Barron, she is also the author of 13 novels in the Jane Austen Mystery Series and two additional works of historical fiction.

The showcase also included readings by Jane Bock, Chris Goff, Karen Graffenberger (writing as Karalee Long), Christine Jorgensen, Jennifer Kincheloe, Jeffrey Lockwood, Bruce Most, Barbara Nickless, Manuel Ramos, Carter Wilson, and Kevin Wolf.

November RMMWA Meeting

Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos: “We Just Bought America’s Most Iconic Indie Bookstore…Now What Do We Do?”

What: November RMMWA meeting
Where: Historic Denver Press Club
When: Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:30 p.m. socialization and cash bar
7:00 p.m. dinner
8:00 p.m. presentation

MENU: Balsamic marinated London broil served on a bed of caramelized red onions and mushrooms with garlic mashed potatoes and a grilled vegetable salad ~ marinated and grilled seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of organic spring greens with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

COST: Via Paypal, cost for the meeting with meal is $20 for members; $23 for non-members. Payment at door for meeting with meal is $25 for everyone! Attending the meeting without meal is $5 through PayPal and at the door.
RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, spat87506@gmail.com Susan Paturzo by Monday, November 7th, to ensure your reservation or simply RSVP and pay via PayPal. To pay for more than one reservation, click the “Continue Shopping” button once you are routed to PayPal. Walk-ins are welcome if space and food allows. RSVP by Monday, November 7th.

PROGRAM:  Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos: “We Just Bought America’s Most Iconic Indie Bookstore…Now What Do We Do?”

November 10, 2016 Meeting

Psst—the bookstore in question is the Tattered Cover, in case you couldn’t guess. Kristen and Len’s presentation will cover things of great interest to authors, including how they came to buy Tattered Cover, trends they’re seeing and their plan for the future, their personal histories working with books, and a brief history of disruption in the book industry. And of course, any questions MWA members might have.

With four locations in and around Denver, and three branded locations at Denver International Airport, Tattered Cover is an iconic brand not only in Colorado, but nationally. Built over four decades by current owner, the legendary Joyce Meskis, the stores are known for an inviting atmosphere, a large and well-curated selection of books, a robust schedule of author events, full service coffee shops, and legendary customer service.

Before joining Tattered Cover, Len was the Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, a national not-for-profit trade association doing standards, research, and education on behalf of the entire book industry. Prior to that, Len spent nearly twenty years at the American Booksellers Association (ABA) where he served a variety of roles, including overseeing ABA’s e-commerce and education programs, leaving in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. In his early career Len worked in indie, chain, and university bookstores. He has also served on the boards of directors for EDItEUR, the International Digital Publishing Forum, and as a citizen’s advisor to the Stamford Public Library. Len is also the author of *The Scar Boys* (Lerner), a critically acclaimed young adult novel published in January 2014 and its sequel, *Scar Girl* (Lerner. He is under contract with Bloomsbury Kids USA to publish to new YA novels in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Kristen also worked at ABA, where, for a decade, she held a variety of positions, including Director of Meetings and Events. As a member of the ABA’s senior staff, Kristen was privy to and participated in strategic discussions on the current state and future of the book industry with many of the industry’s leaders. She was also directly involved in the creation of ABA’s education program; assisted and counseled potential members on opening a bookstore; managed ABA’s public relations and publicity; and advocated on behalf of independent booksellers on First Amendment issues, Internet sales tax, and the development of sustainable local economies. During her tenure at ABA, Kristen was a member of the American Society of Association Executives and sat on the Children’s Booksellers & Publishers Committee, a joint group of ABA, the Association of American Publishers, and the Children’s Book Council. Before joining ABA, Kristen managed an independent bookstore in her hometown of Chappaqua, New York.

Kristen and Len are actively involved in the education of their two sons, Charlie (age seven) and Luke (age five). They live in Littleton, Colorado with one very large cat.


Here There Be Monsters: Hunting for Criminals in the Virtual Sea

WHERE: The Historic Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place, Denver, second floor.

WHEN: Thursday, October 13th. 6:30 p.m. conversation and cash bar; 7:00 p.m. Dinner; and 8:00 p.m. Program

COST: Via Paypal, cost for the meeting with meal is $20 for members; $23 for non-members. Payment at door for meeting with meal is $25 for everyone!
Attending the meeting without meal is $5 through PayPal and at the door.
RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, spat87506@gmail.com Susan Paturzo by Monday, October 10th, to ensure your reservation or simply RSVP and pay via PayPal on the http://www.rmmwa.org/ website! Walk-ins are welcome if space and food allows.

MENU: Herb-crusted pork loin ~ tender pork loin drizzled with an herbed demi-glace with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Served with a grilled vegetable salad ~ marinated and grilled seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of spring greens with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

With Gary Dawson, Senior Deputy, 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Gary will cover:

  • Pardon me Stewardess, I speak Geek·
  • Evidence is Everywhere Online·
  • Online Luring
  • Identification Through the Internet
  • Exploitation
  • Now How Did That Get There? Common Defenses to Incriminating Evidence Found on a Computer
  • P2P Networks
  • Cellphones/ The Cloud

Gary Dawson has been a prosecutor his entire legal career.  From 1996 through 2008 he was a prosecutor in the St. Lawrence County (Canton, NY) and the Onondaga County (Syracuse, NY) District Attorney’s Office.  He became a member of the Onondaga County DA’s Office Special Victims Bureau in 2001.   He was promoted to Deputy Bureau Chief of Special Victims in 2006, and then Bureau Chief in 2008.   This bureau specialized in prosecuting some of the most sensitive of all crimes –those involving children, child and adult sexual assaults, and domestic violence.  He has also handled numerous computer-related cases against children and was appointed a Special United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York for prosecutions of child pornography.   He joined the 18th Judicial District DA’s Office in October of 2008, and was a Senior Deputy in the Special Victims Unit from April 2009 through December 2015.  He now is a Senior Deputy in the general felony docket.

He has spoken to numerous public, service, and law enforcement agencies on issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and criminal law.  Over his career, in addition to SVU cases, he has prosecuted cases covering virtually all facets of criminal law, including homicides, narcotics, fraud, DUI, and arson.

Gary created the RISK program while in Syracuse and it has gone on to educate over 11,000 parents and kids in New York.   The program was highlighted on a December 2007 Fox News segment on internet safety.  Since 2009, RISK has already succeeded in reaching over 14,000 parents and students in Colorado.

A native of Southern California, he tries to cope with the lack of gridlock traffic (which he misses so very much), and the lack of smog, earthquakes, mudslides, Kardashians, and the astronomical cost of housing in Los Angeles by downhill skiing, following the Yankees, hiking,  drawing cartoons, being one of those insufferable CrossFit people, and keeping up with his three dogs.

October 13, 2016 Meeting

Dark Web of Crime

What: September RMMWA meeting
When: T
hursday, September 8, 2016
6:30 p.m.
socialization and cash bar
7:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
Historic Denver Press Club
Menu: Jack Daniels-marinated chicken breast baked with sautéed seasonal vegetables with garlic mashed potatoes.  Served with a classic Caesar salad (rough chopped romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, garlic croutons, and fresh cracked black pepper) with garlic Caesar dressing.

Cost: If paying via Paypal cost is $20 for members; $23 for non-members, $5 for non-meal. Choose the option you want from the drop-down menu (Member, Non-Member, or Non-Meal), and then click the Add to Cart button. Note: if you want to sign up both a member and guest, you must pay for each with a separate Add to Cart transaction. Payment at door is $25 for everyone! RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, Susan Paturzo to insure your reservation! The reservation deadline is Monday, September 5th.

Computers are a fact of life in the 21st century, and they are fascinating to mystery writers as vehicles for criminal activity as well as vehicles for sleuthing out criminal activity or other interesting facts. We all know the internet is a big weird place. How much can we learn about it in an hour? Come to the September 8 RMMWA meeting and find out!

September’s program, presented by Dylan Proulx, will include a 50-cent tour of the web, address how search engines work, the surface web, the Deep Web, the Dark Web, how to find stuff, and how to cover your tracks. He’ll talk about how the internet can be used for nefarious purposes, how to use the internet safely and how to know you’re using it safely. And what on earth is cryptocurrency, and can you use it to pay for it all? In other words, everything you wanted to know about the internet but were afraid to Google.

Dylan Proulx: Dylan started programming at the age of 6, on the day that his mother made scones. His brother showed him BASIC programming on the ancient family Kaypro 1. While Dylan hasn’t had a decent scone since then, the programming stuck. He started professional programming in the late ‘90s working on Y2K projects for CARL corporation, a library-automation company. He has since worked for Amazon.com, ESPN, a bank, and most recently ADT. Although he bills himself as a general-purpose software engineer, he has a slight inclination towards information security. He has taught company-wide web-security classes at Amazon.com, and once was given a parking spot for “dedication to security” (where he was promptly ticketed for parking in a reserved spot).



September 8, 2016 Meeting

NEVERMORE Car Rally / Scavenger Hunt


Start Your Engines

For the

Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America Nevermore CAR RALLY-SCAVENGER HUNT.

(It will drive you wild!)


Do you like to toss the GPS out your window?  Can you pass every gas station without once asking for directions? Does the open road shout “adventure” to you?

The RMMWA road rally combines speed (within posted limits) with a test of your ability to follow instructions, solve clues, observe landmarks, and prove your site visits. In other words, this is a race made for mystery writers.

bandstandsmallFIRST: We’ll meet at the Philip S. Miller library in Castle Rock. Specifically, gather round the bandstand there. See photo to left.

NEXT: We’ll assign up to four team members to a car. If you want to be a driver, please let us know. While you may ride with your BFF, we also hope to mix people up in order to make new friends.

FOLLOWING ALONG: You and your team will be given a kit of clues that will take you around Castle Rock until you end up at our “secret” meeting place.

LAST: We’ll party down, share tales of the road, award prizes, and partake of food. Should be a great time for all.


DATE: Saturday, August 13
TIME: 1:00 p.m. (party starts at 3:00)
PLACE: Meet at the bandstand outside the Philip S. Miller Library
100 S. Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado
  $15 per person.

IMPORTANT:  If you get carsick and just want to party down, register for the party ONLY ($10/person), and we’ll send you the top secret instructions to the party site. Then we’ll see you there at 3 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS:  You may want to bring some or all of the following: smartphone, dictionary, measuring tape, thinking cap, hammer, screwdriver. Just sayin’.