WILD News - What's New with Author Sandi Ault and the WILD Mystery Series

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DATELINE AUGUST, 2010: WILD SORROW is named the winner of the 2010 WILLA Award for Best Contemporary Fiction by Women Writing the West!
 The prestigious WILLA is named for Willa Cather, Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist. The award will be presented in October at the WWW Conference in Wickensburg, AZ. 

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Here's a sample of just the highlights


Ø  WILD INDIGO: First ever debut novel to be nominated for and to win the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Named as a finalist for the Best First Novel by Mountains and Plains Booksellers.

Ø  WILD INFERNO: Named one of the Best Books of 2008 on five lists, including two of publishing's most prestigious lists: Publishers Weekly and Library Journal (the only book to make both of those lists). Winner of the Willa Finalist Award for 2009 and Finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Ø  WILD SORROW: Finalist for the 2010 Spur Literary Award for Contemporary Western Novel and winner of the 2010 Willa Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction.

Ø  WILD PENANCE: Already on the  Edgars nominees list  for best mysteries produced in 2010  for the Mary Higgins Clark Award,  and also on the short list for the  Left Coast Crime 2011 Hillerman Sky Award for the mystery that best captures the landscape of the Southwest, and the  Watson for best sidekick. And the 2011 Awards announcements are just beginning! 

All four WILD Mysteries are also available in audio, rare for an author so new on the scene. Large-print, audio and electronic versions of the WILD Mystery Series are selling well and earning accolades! 

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DATELINE AUGUST, 2010: The September 2010 issue of COWBOYS & INDIANS MAGAZINE hits the newsstands,
 and it spotlights Sandi with wolf Tiwa at the WILD West Hoedown, Fashion Show, and Author Party at Will Wyatt's Cowboy Couture in Overland Park, KS. Sandi and the WILD Bunch duded up for that big event as part of the WILD PENANCE tour, and C&I captured Sandi in her favorite chinks and six gun. Fans of this best-of-the-west magazine might remember that in September 2009, they featured Sandi in a three-page spread, complete with interview, photos, and a review of WILD PENANCE. Sandi has been spotlighted in this magazine many times, and since she is a long-time subscriber and fan of C&I, it's always a treat!

DATELINE JULY, 2010: Members of the Pack pile into the Wolf Lodge and head north for Cheyenne Frontier Days. They take in the rodeo, the concerts, and all the fun. Check back with us in a few weeks for photos and hopefully some of the video we shot at the wildest west party of them all, Cheyenne Frontier Days!

DATELINE JULY, 2010: ThrillerFest in New York City! Over two-hundred mystery and thriller big dogs, and Sandi is right in there among them. Oh, the panels, the cocktail parties, the shenanigans! Sandi participated on a panel with this moniker: Do You Live to Write, or Write to Live? Sandi's answer was, of course, "Yes."

SandiTracySpurAwards.jpgDATELINE JUNE, 2010: Sandi heads to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Western Writers of America Convention and receives her SPUR Finalist Award for WILD SORROW. The WWA does cowboy music and poetry every night, closes down the bar (and the hotel lobby) with late-night cowboying, and just generally knows how to have a great time while promoting the literature, film, and music of the West. You can be sure Sandi will be at the next WWA Convention! What a hoot!


Sandi's latest appearance in NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE is in their June 2010 issue, where she is their featured author.
Excerpts from an interview Wolf Schneider did with Sandi appear in the print version and online.

DATELINE APRIL-MAY 2010: Sandi presents at the Edgar Awards for Mystery Writers of America in New York City. Sandi chaired the judging committee for the 2010 Best Short Story category and was delighted to return to the event where she won the MHC Award, this time  as a presenter. Below are a few photos from this black-tie event, the Oscars of the Mystery world! Click on any of the images below to see a larger-size version. First photo is Sandi's husband Tracy with C.J. Box. Sandi appears below with Alafair Burke and Ken Isaacson, presenting the Edgar for Best Short Story with co-presenter S.J. Rozan (the winner at the podium is Luis Alberto Urrea,) with Linda Fairstein and Barbara Peters, with her handsome hubby, Tracy, and with C.J. Box.

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DATELINE MAY, 2010: Sandi does more SWAT and SRT tactical training  and takes additional weapons training and practice in research for her latest project. See her in this photo in her Army issue rig qualifying with a Sig Sauer P229. Sandi Also flies from NYC to Washington, D.C. for a little research.

The Statue of Liberty
As Seen from the Plane

Sandi Fires a Sig Sauer P229

Sandi On the Washington Mall

DATELINE APRIL, 2010: Sandi speaks at a host of libraries, then heads for Las Vegas for a signing and then some BIG fun.







DATELINE MARCH 20, 2010: Western Writers of America names Sandi Ault's WILD SORROW a finalist for the SPUR Award for Best Short Western Novel of 2010. Previous winners of the SPUR Award include Tony Hillerman, Louis L'amour, Larry McMurtry and Sandra Dallas. You just don't get to be in better company than that!

Sandi Ault and Margaret Coel Booked in L.A.

DATELINE MARCH 11-14, 2010: Sandi Ault goes WILD and gets Booked in LA at the Left Coast Crime Booked in LA Mystery Convention. Check out the photos in our WILD Mystery Tour Album.

DATELINE LATE FEBRUARY, 2010: Sandi Ault takes the WILD PENANCE Tour to the Greater Kansas City area. First up for that leg of the tour is a WINTER EVENING OF STORIES IN THE PARLOR party at the reknowned bookstore I LOVE A MYSTERY. Friends, family, and WILD fans enjoy frank conversation, candid Q&A, and in-character readings from the new book in a casual (almost in our jammies) kind of cozy atmosphere. Another packed house with standing room only, and another fun party with brownies, hot chocolate and more with the WILD Bunch!

Fans Enjoy A Cozy Evening in the Victorian Parlor
With Sandi Ault at I Love A Mystery

The crowds for Sandi at I LOVE A MYSTERY are always standing room only!
Check out all the photos of all the fans on our WILD Mystery Tour Album Page! 


DATELINE LATE FEBRUARY, 2010: The WILD Bunch converge on Will Wyatt's Cowboy Couture for a WILD West Fashion Show, Hoedown, and Author Party for Sandi Ault and WILD PENANCE. Cowboys and Cowgirls come out in their finest duds, and the fashion show models strut their stuff in Will Wyatt's best finery. Beloved Kansas City singer/songwriter and recording artist, Beth Scalet, performs music for the crowds, and the WILD Wranglers for the event provide gourmet edibles and potables. See all the pix on our WILD Mystery Tour Album page.

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Sandi Shows Off her Muscles

DATELINE MID-FEBRUARY, 2010: The New Mexico portion of  The WILD PENANCE Tour  is a huge success, with events in Taos and Albuquerque, and some of the WILDest friends and fans onboard! Visit the WILD Bunch Mesa to read all about this chapter of the WILD Bunch! AND DON'T LISTEN TO ANY OF THOSE RUMORS! Yes, we have fun at the Adobe Bar  at Doc Martin's when we're in Taos, yes the music is good, the food sublime, the drinks refreshing, but NO, we do NOT dance naked on the tables!

DATELINE MID-FEBRUARY, 2010: The WILD PENANCE Tour continues with events in Colorado. Sandi is especially excited to appear at the (new) OLD FIREHOUSE BOOKS in Fort Collins, CO. Wow! What a great bookstore!

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Sandi Tells Stories to the Fans at Old Firehouse Books
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The WILD Bunch at the WILD Mountain Get Down for WILD PENANCE

DATELINE FEBRUARY 6, 2010: The WILD Bunch gather at the Estes Valley Library to celebrate the release of WILD PENANCE with Author Sandi Ault at the WILD Mountain Get Down. In the photo, left,  is wearing her Laurie 2-Dog chaps complete with buttons hammered from authentic antique bawdy-house coins from all over the West—the official currency for services in the WILD days in those establishments. Sandi also sports her replica Colt Peacemaker six-shooter in a tooled holster. The WILD Mountain Get-Down was another standing-room-only party complete with edibles, potables, music, poetry, and an author's panel featuring members of the original WILD Bunch, the Fall River Writers. Friends and fans filled the library's meeting room and spent an afternoon of fun in celebration of yet another WILD Mystery!

DATELINE FEBRUARY 2, 2010:  WE LAUNCHED WILD PENANCE! A crowd of WILD Friends and Fans descended on the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ, to celebrate the release of WILD PENANCE, the fourth in the WILD Mystery Series. Author Sandi Ault was delighted to see all her AZ WILD Bunch friends and to share tidbits about the new book with them. WILD Bunch Members brought friends and treats, the bookseller provided champagne, and the party was WILDly fun! Wolf Diva accompanied gallery owner Bill Bishop, bringing that much-desired element of the WILD to the event. Friends and fans arrived from all parts of the state (and even from Colorado), and everyone had a great time! The tour is launched, the book is released, so let the WILD begin!

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Sandi Reads by request from WILD PENANCE

To see more photos and media from the launch party and the tour, click HERE.

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DATELINE FEBRUARY 2, 2010: Reviews for WILD PENANCE begin to roll in, and the critics like what they see! Library Journal said, "Verdict: Ault's love of the outdoors and her respect for American Indian culture are evident in her vivid descriptions of the culture, people, and northern New Mexico landscape. ... Nevada Barr fans and mystery aficionados still mourning the late Tony Hillerman will snap this one up as well as other titles in the Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning series. Enthusiastically recommended."  To see some other quotes from the early reviews for WILD PENANCE, click HERE.

DATELINE FEBRUARY, 2010: The WILD PENANCE Tour continues with events in Estes Park, CO, Boulder, Fort Collins, Albuquerque, the Greater Kansas City Area, and more. Sandi and the WILD Bunch have a series of WILD parties planned. To see if one is happening near you, or to find out more details, click HERE.

DATELINE FEBRUARY 01, 2010: Author Sandi Ault and WILD PENANCE are featured in an in-depth interview with Wolf Schneider in ALBUQUERQUE ARTS Magazine. The magazine's website also offers the first three chapters of WILD PENANCE as a sneak peek for readers. Great timing for Sandi's upcoming tour event in Albuquerque!


DATELINE UPCOMING: JUNE, 2010: Author Sandi Ault will be featured in the June issue of NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE with an in-depth feature, interview, and review of WILD PENANCE. This author who loves the enchanted landscape will talk about wolves, the WILD, and writing the WILD Mystery Series. Watch for it on your newsstand or in your mailbox in mid-May!

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Author Sandi Ault is on tour now for WILD PENANCE

TONY HILLERMAN'S LANDSCAPE: ON THE ROAD WITH CHEE AND LEAPHORN by Anne Hillerman with photos by Don Strel is released to celebrations and ceremony. Sandi Ault shows up to support her friends and the birth of this wonderful tribute. The book is a poignant and touching text-and-photographic journey through the landscape immortalized in Tony Hillerman' s beloved mystery series featuring the legendary Navajo police officers Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee. Anne and Don create a dramatic slideshow presentation with guest readers, and they present it to terrific acclaim as a benefit for the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship Fund for Creative writing at the University of New Mexico, and as a fund-raiser for the Santa Fe Public Library.

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Sandi and a fan at the Santa Fe Public Library event

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Sandi with renowned Native American film star, Wes Studi

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Large Crowds Came to Celebrate the Events

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Sandi Visits at the Library

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Wes Studi, Michael McGarrity, and Sandi Ault among the guests at the Santa Fe Library Event

DATELINE NOVEMBER 8, 2009: The South Side Branch of the Santa Fe Public Library dedicates a teen patio to Tony Hillerman, complete with an engraved stone celebrating his achievements as a journalist, teacher, and storyteller. The Rama band of the Navajo offer a blessing ceremony and consecrate the space as sacred. The Mayor of Santa Fe declares it Tony Hillerman Week in Santa Fe.

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Anne Hilerman, Sandi, and Marie Hillerman at the Blessing Ceremony for the new library patio

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Sandi and Don Strel watch the ceremony and dedication

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Sandi and husband Tracy celebrate in Los Angeles

DATELINE SEPTEMBER, 2009: SANDI AULT heads to Los Angeles to pick up the WILLA Finalist Award for WILD INFERNO.

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Sandi and husband Tracy at the WILLA Awards

DATELINE SEPTEMBER 12, 2009: WILD INFERNO is recognized again! This time, it's the WILLA Finalist Award, given by Women Writing the West. Sandi Ault will attend the WWW Conference in Los Angeles to accept her finalist award. This honor, named for Willa Cather, the Pulitzer-Prize-Winning author of many works, including DEATH COMES TO THE ARCHBISHOP, is the result of judging by an independent group of 21 librarians, not affiliated with the WWW. Past WILLA Winners include Annie Proulx and Issabella Allende.




WordHarveestlogo.jpgDATELINE AUGUST 8, 2009: Sandi Ault teaches a day-long, intensive WILD Writers Workshop for WordHarvest    in Santa Fe, NM. The workshop, entitled SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION: SKILLS WRITERS NEED TO STAND OUT AND SUCCEED offers hands-on exercises and skill building to a lively group of writers. For more information about Wordharvest and their outstanding menu of writers' workshops,, click HERE.


DATELINE SEPTEMBER. 2009: WILD SORROW releases in large print and audio!



DATELINE JUNE 22, 2009: WILD INFERNO is recognized as a finalist for The Colorado Book Award. This award is given for literary excellence by the Colorado Center for the Humanities. The list of finalists is prestigious, and it is a huge honor to see WILD INFERNO among such distinguished titles. 

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WILD Pack Publicist Lee Ann returns from a long stint in a brace, two surgeries, and a touch-and-go time recovering from a horseback riding accident. See her note to our friends and fans below.

To get the latest update from Lee Ann herself, check out her WILD Post on the WILD Bunch Mesa.

cover.jpgDATELINE MAY, 2009: New Mexico Magazine gives WILD SORROW a rave review! Check it out by clicking HERE.

We like this quote from the review: "Ault's talents go far beyond devising a suspense-driven plot; she layers this enjoyable tale with her considerable knowledge of Native American customs and history. I'm not the first to say it, nor will I be the last: Fans of Nevada Barr and Tony Hillerman will be enthralled with this series. If you aren't yet a fan of this... author...you should be."


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DATELINE SPRING, 2009:  The Wolf Lodge, official Base Camp for the WILD Mystery Series Research Expeditions, makes its maiden voyage with the WILD Crew aboard. Pictured here in Monument Valley, in the heart of Indian Country.

LeeAnn.jpgDATELINE LATE MARCH, 2009: COWGIRL DOWN! Pack member and WILD Publicist, Lee Ann, is severely injured in a horseback riding accident. Surgery, a six-week stint in a torturous brace, and too much time in a forced reclined position test the mettle of our beloved Lee Ann. Keep her in your thoughts and think: HEAL!

DATELINE MARCH 3-21, 2009: The WILD SORROW tour takes place and author Sandi Ault travels to meet fans, read from the latest WILD Mystery, and have a great time talking with folks who come out to the author events. For a photo tour of the WILD SORROW tour, click HERE.

DATELINE March 7, 2009, Fairway, KS: WILD SORROW Launch Party!
Over 130 people attend the WILD SORROW Launch Party at the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway, Kansas. The audience is too large to fit inside the Mission's rooms, and so they spill from the building and are entertained on the large outdoor deck and lawn. Native American flute music, provided by Stumbling Deer, fills the air throughout the afternoon. John Forbes of the Mission begins the program with a brief history of the boarding school. Then Sandi entertains the audience by reading from WILD SORROW and answering general questions about being an author. Tables of cookies, cider drinks, and coffee accommodate book buyers as they wait patiently to meet Sandi and obtain signed copies of WILD SORROW. The bookseller sells out of books, but fortunately, the WILD Crew have brought some extras from their stash, so there are just enough for everyone who wants one. The White Oak Creek Singers finish the event with Northern Style powwow drumming and singing, enthralling the crowd.


DATELINE FEBRUARY 18, 2009:  WILD Wranglers Corrin Campbell, one of the wranglers for the Boulder Borders tour event, and Sherri Schiff, one of the wranglers for the Santa Fe Borders tour event, win the drawing for Advanced Review Copies of WILD SORROW. Congratulations!

DATELINE FEBRUARY 16, 2009: WILD SORROW becomes the third book in a row to earn author Sandi Ault starred reviews.. To see how the critics are raving, click HERE.

DATELINE JANUARY 02, 2009: WILD INFERNO is nominated for the 2008-Best Fiction by a Woman Author Award by the StoryCircle Network's LifeWriters group.

DATELINE DECEMBER 20, 2008: WILD INFERNO makes the 12th Annual Clueless List of the Best Adult Mysteries for Teen Readers published in 2008.

DATELINE DECEMBER 11, 2008: WILD INFERNO makes a third Best of 2008 List when the Seattle Mystery Bookshop's blog names it as one of the best books  read all year.

DATELINE DECEMBER 8, 2008: Library Journal puts WILD INFERNO on its Best Books of 2008 List, one of only five mysteries to receive the honor.
Added note: WILD INFERNO is the only mystery
that made both the LJ and PW Best of 2008 Lists!

DATELINE: NOVEMBER 5, 2008: Publishers Weekly Names WILD INFERNO by Sandi Ault one of the Best Books of 2008!

WILD Photos from the Tony Hillerman Conference 2008. Click on any thumbnail below to see a larger-sized image.

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Sandi Ault remembers Tony Hillerman

click here to read her tribute in The Boulder Daily Camera,

and here to read her blog post about Tony titled MOVING ON.

Two Authors
Sandi Ault and Tony Hillerman

BevSandi.jpgMORE WILD WINNERS! The winningest WILD Wranglers from the WILD SORROW tour are Beverly Leach, who packed the house at the Wichita Watermark Books tour event. Congratulations to Bev, who won the specially engraved red iPod Shuffle. And WILD Wrangler Betsy Boatwright wins the WILDly Creative and Innnovative Award for her WILDly Wonderful bookmarks, promo packets, Moose Munch and refrehsments at the Tattered Cover. Betsy wins a WILD SORROW Mountain Lion Sculpture. Way to go, Bets!



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Music by Sandi Ault, Photos by Tracy A. Kerns and Sandi Ault unless otherwise stated
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