Desert Sleuths Chapter
of Sisters in Crime

An Organization for Writers, Readers, and Fans of Crime Fiction and Mystery 


Our Desert Sleuths chapter is a proud member of Sisters in Crime, an international organization that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers. Sisters in Crime helps women achieve equality in the industry by raising professionalism, serving as the voice for excellence, and achieving diversity in crime writing.

The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter is located in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and serves members throughout the State of Arizona and beyond! Our members include bestselling, award-winning authors, emerging writers, fans of mysteries and crime stories, and other writers of other genres. We are an inclusive organization. Whatever your gender, level of experience, or genre, you are welcome to join us!


Current Events

May 18th: Writing for an Anthology

You’ve been asked to participate in an anthology. Great! But now what? If you’re used to writing long form, how do you now create a piece that adheres to short story form, blends in with the tone and theme of the book and makes a big splash?! Mystery authors Heather Graham, Rick Bleiweiss and Jennifer Dornbush (Desert Sleuth member)  share their tips, advice, and personal anecdotes on what it’s like to create a piece for an anthology. Their anthology, Hotel California, based on The Eagles album releases June 12, 2022 with Blackstone.


Rick Bleiweiss

Rick BleiweissRick spent much of his career in the music industry as a recording artist, Grammy-nominated producer, recorded songwriter, and record label senior executive. He has been an educator, newspaper and magazine columnist and speaker, and is Head of New Business Development at Blackstone Publishing. His debut novel, Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives, was published this February and is garnering rave reviews. He contributed the short story “The Last Resort” to Hotel California (Blackstone, 2022). He is a member of The Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and other literary organizations. Sign up for his newsletter at: and connect with Rick on IG @rickbleiweissauthor.

Heather Graham

Heather GrahamNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, sci-fi, young adult, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. Heather has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is the proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers and was awarded the prestigious Thriller Master Award in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA.  Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts a Vampire Ball and Dinner theater raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region.  She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
Jennifer DornbushRaised as the daughter of a medical examiner whose office was in their home, forensics is infused into Jennifer’s DNA.  She scribed Forensic Speak; Hole in the Woods, and mystery series The Coroner’s Daughter, also optioned by Lifetime TV and the true crime thriller, Hole in the Woods. Jennifer contributed to Hotel California (Blackstone, 2022). She is also a speaker and forensic specialist. Sign up for her newsletter at: Connect with Jennifer on IG @JGDornbush.

Don’t miss out on Hotel California this June 12, 2022!Hotel California


See you on Zoom May 18th! Meeting details will be in the monthly newsletter sent in an email prior to the meeting to all chapter members. Please reach out if you would like to be a guest, and check out the Desert Sleuths Chapter.


See more Upcoming Events for 2022.


Past Events

A huge thanks to SJ Rozan for her excellent presentation on plot, based on a seminar given recently to the graduate students in the creative writing program at Lesley University. S.J. Rozan spoke to us on that difficult to wrangle element of all writing: Plot. In her informative talk, she discussed story vs. plot, the iterative process, outlining, plot and character, the 3 and 5 part structures and plot devices. If you missed the meeting, check out the videos on the members-only Facebook page.

S.J.’s Social media: 







Covid-19 Guidelines from SinC National and AZ DHS

SinC National has published their meeting guidelines for this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic:

2021 In-Person Meetings Guidelines

The AZ DHS has as well:

Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations