I've had a little set-back with promotion due to a fractured arm, but here's the update:

The cruise is Nov. 14-21, 2010, sailing from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera. We have two days at sea for the conference, which is free. Cabins start at $400, gratuities included. Ports of call are Puerto Vallarta, Mazetlan and Cabo San Lucas. There are conference T-shirts, champagne and $50 in "ship" money, plus an open bar meet & greet.

I've been casting the net for a few high-profile keynote speakers, difficult since many authors are already booked for next year. I'm impressed that Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly and Margaret Maron personally sent their regrets. We do have an acquisition editor from Midnight Ink sailing with us, and she'll be open for pitch sessions. I'm hoping more small presses will send representatives. This is a conference where small press authors can shine.

Panels and speakers are being arranged on a first come, first served basis. We've got a good start on a short story panel. Other panels suggested are mysteries with music, mysteries with disabled sleuths and I'm hoping to pull together a panel of Hispanic mystery authors. Books can be sold after the panels.

Denny Griffin, who writes about the Vegas mobsters, has several events scheduled dealing with true crime and several "interesting" speakers. They are out of witness protection.

I'm only putting together the mystery end of things. Beverly, our travel agent, has wrangled 120 cabins. She'd like to see $100 deposit to hold a cabin as soon as possible, a second installment on the deposit of $150 by June 1, and the remainder by Aug. 25. Go to She'll also send you the flier.

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Comment by Sunny Frazier on December 29, 2009 at 4:53am
Holli, I know she was talking about Bouchercon, San Francisco, but we both agreed this cruise would be more for the buck for Oak Tree. I don't know about the conference. Will check.

Monti, I'd love to see Oak Tree well represented. Mike Orenduff, Marilyn Meredith and Denny Griffin are all on board.
Comment by Mary Montague Sikes on December 29, 2009 at 4:12am
Sounds interesting!

Comment by Holli Castillo on December 28, 2009 at 5:06pm
Sunny, Do you know when/if Billie is still having the Oak Tree conference in November? I was waiting to decide on the cruise to see if Billie was still planning something down here for then.

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