Launch: New Ellis Portal Novel by Rosemary Aubert

Written by M.H. Callway

Mesdames RosemaryA1Mme Rosemary Aubert celebrated the launch of her new Ellis Portal novel, Don’t Forget You Love Me, the sixth book in the Arthur award-winning series on Friday, January 16th at the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto.

Carrick Publishing released Don’t Forget You Love Me just before Christmas. It is already receiving warm reviews: it is one of J.D’s Picks and one of Marian’s Picks in Sleuth of Baker Street’s January newsletter.

Friends and fans crowded the Great Hall to hear Rosemary read from her new novel. At her invitation, three fellow poets (George Fells, Emily Mandy and David Stones) shared their work. Readers may not know that Mme Rosemary started writing as a poet – and that she continues to publish and perform poetry to this day.

Mesdames Safe HarborRosemary also generously shared the floor with three Mesdames of Mayhem who were honored and delighted to be part of the evening. Mme M. H. Callway read from her debut novel, Windigo Fire (Seraphim Editions), Rosemary McCracken from Safe Harbour (Imajin Press) and Joan O’Callaghan, her award-winning flash fiction, “Torch Song for Two Voices” (Polar Expressions).

Asked what inspired her to continue the Ellis Portal series, Rosemary described how she originally planned to tell Portal’s journey – from judge to homeless vagrant living rough in the Don Valley to judge again – in five books. Central to Portal’s story are five rings that belong to the major characters: each of the five books focuses on one of these rings.

The recent clashes between police and the public, often with tragic results, compelled Rosemary to write Don’t Forget You Love Me. As part of her research, she studied the documentation available on the events surrounding the Economic Summit to illuminate this difficult and complex issue.

Don’t Forget You Love Me is available on Amazon.
Mesdames RosemaryA2

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The Mesdames of Mayhem: First book launch of 2015!

We are delighted to announce the very first of the new books to be launched by a Mme of Mayhem in 2015!

Mme Rosemary Aubert presents her eagerly awaited new book in the Ellis Portal mystery series, Don’t Forget You Love Me, (Carrick Publishing, December, 2014).

The launch will be held on Friday, January 16th at 7:00pm at the Arts and Letters Club, Great Hall, 14 Elm Street, Toronto.

The event promises to be lively with several readings by fellow authors and poets. The highlight of the evening will be Rosemary’s reading from her new Ellis Portal mystery.

Admission is free. Copies of Don’t Forget You Love Me will be available for purchase with an opportunity to meet and chat with Rosemary, one of Canada’s leading crime fiction authors.

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The Mesdames’ Sparkling Year!

MesdamesBlog1 ChampaignFarewell 2014, but what a terrific year it’s been: New books, dazzling awards and critical acclaim, oh, my! And the New Year promises the Mesdames more new books and success, which I’ll highlight in my upcoming blog.

But first, let’s brag a little…

The Mesdames had a very busy twelve months with dozens of readings, panels and book launches throughout the GTA. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our hard-working marketing whiz, Mme Joan O’Callaghan, and to Mme Cathy Astolfo for chasing down and bagging these gigs for us. And many, many thanks to all the Mesdames who made these events a success.

We re-learned an important fact: a librarian is an author’s best friend! As are our hard-pressed indie booksellers. Hearts and flowers go to Pickwick Books and especially to Marian Misters and J. D. Singh of Sleuth of Baker Street.

The Mesdames formed a wonderful partnership with community theatre. Cross-promotion at three mystery plays in Oakville and Toronto led us to meet new readers and launched further events to promote our books. Many thanks to Mmes Joan O’Callaghan and Elaine Freedman for creating these opportunities for us and to the many hard-working Mesdames, among them Mmes Cathy Dunphy, Rosemary McCracken and Lynne Murphy, who braved winter weather to “man” our tables.

And now, on to the glory…

MesdamesBlog2 AE.jpgMesdamesBlog4 Short MysteryMesdamesBlog3 Bony PeteAwards
In 2014, several Mesdames were winners or finalists for leading awards in crime fiction.

Mme Melodie Campbell, our Queen of Comedy, took home an Arthur and a Derringer for Best Novella for her terrific book, The Goddaughter’s Revenge. We all long for Nico, The Lone Re-arranger, to burglarize our homes!

MesdamesBlog5 ThatGoldenSummerFrontCoverMme Joan O’Callaghan, long a successful non-fiction writer, penned two award-winning short stories this year. “Runaway” took Third Prize in the Bony Pete contest at this year’s Bloody Words Conference and “Torch Song for Two Voices” beat out literally hundreds of flash fiction entries to win first prize in Polar Expressions Publishing’s short story contest. It is featured in their anthology That Golden Summer.

Mme Vicki Delany’s 2013 novel, Gold Web: A Klondike Mystery was shortlisted for the Bony Blythe Light Mystery Award.

We were also thrilled that, Thirteen, the Mesdames’ first anthology, received three prestigious nominations. Mme Rosemary McCracken’s Pat Tierney story, “The Sweetheart Scamster”, was a finalist for the 2014 Derringer Award. And Mme Donna Carrick’s chilling story, “Watermelon Weekend”, and Mme Sylvia Warsh’s sinister tale, “The Emerald Skull”, were both short-listed for an Arthur.

New Books

Five Mesdames published new books in 2014.

Mme M. H. Callway’s debut novel, Windigo Fire, was published by Seraphim Editions in September to very positive reviews. Windigo Fire is on Huffington Post Canada’s fall list of Books for Book Clubs and it is one of the “New Talent – Ten to Taste” chosen by the British website, Crime Fiction Lover. Margaret Cannon of the Globe and Mail praised it for its well-done atmosphere and chilling premise and said “M.H. Callway is a writer to watch”. And Don Graves, in his 50 Words Review called Windigo Fire “visually powerful, action packed, blunt and driving with writing polished beyond that of a debut novel.”

Mme Melodie Campbell’s latest book in the hilarious Goddaughter series, The Artful Goddaughter, was published this fall by Orca Press. Canadian Mystery Reviews called it “A blast and a laugh”. And showing her mastery of the (sexy!) sword and sorcery genre, our Queen of Comedy launched Rowena and the Viking Warlord, the third in the Rowena series published by Imajin Press. Vine Review praised it as “Outlander meets Sex and the City”.

Carrick Publishing’s latest anthology, World Enough and Crime, was published in October, 2014 and features works by 22 established and emerging crime fiction authors. Eight Mesdames are delighted to have their stories in the collection: Mme Donna Carrick uncovers an eerie family secret in “Dr. Shediac” while Mme Rosemary Aubert uses a most unusual murder weapon in “The Prime Suspect”.

Mme M. H. Callway spins a mystical tale in “The Ultimate Mystery” while Mme Mel Campbell, launches the reader into future policing in “ Cover Girl”. Mme Rosemary McCracken’s hero, Pat Tierney, uncovers more financial sins in “Antonia” and Mme Lynne Murphy’s senior citizens continue to break the law in “Potluck”. Readers can now enjoy Mme Joan O’Callaghan’s prize-winning story “Runaway” as well as Mme Jane Petersen Burfield’s charming Christmas tale, “Belief”.

The Mesdames are especially happy that Ed Piwowarczyk, the editor of our new anthology, Thirteen O’Clock, makes his debut in this anthology. “The Angels Wait” is a dark tale of justice and retribution.

Don Graves had high praise for World Enough and Crime in his 50 Word Review: Excellent storytelling that keeps you reading.

Mme Vicki Delany had a relatively quiet year with “only” two books published! Under Cold Stone is the seventh book in her critically acclaimed Constable Molly Smith Series from Poisoned Pen Press. Juba Good is the first in the Sgt Ray Robertson series of Rapid Reads novellas for Orca Press. This year, Mme Vicki was the Canadian Guest of Honour at the Bloody Words Conference in Toronto. And in her spare time, she’s President of the Crime Writers of Canada!

Our newest member, Mme Lisa De Nikolits published her latest mystery, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, with Inanna Press. Doug O’Neill of Canadian Living Magazine writes: “You’re drawn in…. Embark on a journey that seethes with peril.” And T.O. Poet praised Mme Lisa’s deft handling of a large cast of characters with complex motives, saying: “If romance, suspense and serial killers under the African sun are your cup of tea this book is for you.”

In December, Mme Rosemary Aubert released her latest Ellis Portal mystery: Don’t Forget You Love Me. The book is available in paperback and e-book editions. All are welcome to join Rosemary at the Arts & Letters Club, Toronto, on January 16/14 for the launch party!

More Publishing News

Mme D. J. McIntosh was hard at work throughout 2014 researching and completing the third book in her best-selling John Madison archeological thriller series. The only secret she’s let slip so far is that the story centers on the legend of the Garden of Eden. We can’t wait for Penguin to announce its 2015 release date!

This fall, the Canadian Sisters in Crime brought out their follow-up anthology, The Whole She-Bang 2. We were thrilled that in the Globe and Mail’s review of the collection, Margaret Cannon singled out for praise: Mme Cathy Astolfo’s touching story, “The End of the World” and Mme Mel Campbell’s smart and funny police procedural, “Women’s Work.”

Farewell to Bloody Words

Our wrap-up of 2014 ends on a bittersweet note: Mmes Caro Soles and Cheryl Freedman announced that Bloody Words 2014 would be the last one. After thirteen terrific national conferences, they’ve certainly earned a rest but both are hard at work. Mme Caro has a new project, nEvermore, a tribute anthology to Edgar Allan Poe, to be published fall 2015 and Mme Cheryl is busy writing and editing.

Happily, though, the Bony Blithe prize will continue under a new name: The Bloody Words Light Mystery Award, which will delight authors and fans everywhere.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Mme Mad

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Strictly Murder, play by Brian Clemens, Jan. 15-18, 2015

The Mesdames of Mayhem will be on hand at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, January 15-18, during the production of Strictly Murder. We’ll be selling books and doing what we do best – chatting with people about mystery,murder and mayhem! This play is a great way to liven up those long winter nights. If you are at the theatre, drop by our table and say hello!

Mesdames Strictly 1

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Meet the Mesdames, Caro Soles ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

Caro Soles wrote an opera when she was 10. It was short. In the ‘60’s she wrote two musicals and a few other stage pieces. She took part in protest marches and gave up Paarl sherry and California grapes. With several degrees under her belt, she taught French and Spanish in universities, community colleges, a few private schools and collegiates. Her only regret is that she didn’t have much time for free love.


Caro SolesJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Caro Soles:

Joan: What have you written?

Caro: I have published 12 novels and many short stories in genres as varied as mystery, sf, dark fantasy and gay male erotica. Oh yes, and a few articles scattered about in there, one for a date book and one fopr Romantic Times. Don’t ask..

Joan: When did you start writing?

Caro: Like most writers, I started telling stories early on. My mother was a great story teller, as was all her family. Going to pick up milk at the corner store would turn into an exciting saga to hear her tell it!

Joan: Why write mysteries?

Caro: A dead body really gets things stirred up! Can’t beat it for conflict and tension!

Joan: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

Caro: With mysteries, you have an idea of what to expect, to some extent. There are certain promises made to the reader— the status quo will be ripped apart, our hero or heroin will go through some kind of hell, either psychologically or physically— but at the end, order will be restored, even though things may never be quite the same again. Life can go on.

Joan: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

Caro: I used to write literally at the kitchen table. Then I had an actual office. Now I hate my office and go to our local Starbucks to write. I have written two whole books at Starbucks. I have a Gold Starbucks card, people!

Joan: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

Caro: Get some sort of routine. And realize this routine will change. Frequently.

Joan: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

Caro: I won the essay prize in my senior year of high school with a short story. This had never been done before. I was awarded the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada and was short listed for the Lambda Literary Award. I was also the Guest of Honour at a major convention in Chicago. Next year, I will be the MC for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award.

Joan: What are you working on now?

Caro: I am now working on a totally new kind of project for me, a cross-genre anthology I am coediting with writer Nancy Kilpatrick. It is a new concept and we already have 8 New York Times Best Selling authors lined up, as well as a few other very good but less well known writers. And we are keeping back 3 slots for a sort of competition anyone can enter. You will be hearing much more from me about this project in another month!

Joan: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Caro: Just let go and write! At the time, I had no idea what this meant! But you will, if you keep writing.

Joan: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

Caro: Being one of a group who consistently support each other’s work. This is invaluable to a writer, especially in these uncertain times. Thank you, Mesdames!

Joan: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Caro: I just want to add that the term mystery is a very large umbrella, sheltering every kind of style from literary to light and funny, to deep psychological studies, set in all sorts of places, even outer space. There is a mystery at the heart of every story!

Caro Soles is the author of 12 novels and numerous short stories.

Visit Caro at:
Www.carosoles.com
carosoles.wordpress.com
Tweet with @carosoles

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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The Mesdames of Mayhem: A roaring end to 2014!

Madeleine Harris-CallwayGreetings Readers!

WE HAVE A WINNER!!

Joan O'CallaghanOur very own Mme Joan O’Callaghan is not just a finalist, but the absolute first prize winner of Polar Expressions Publishing’s 2014 National Summer Poetry and Short Story Contest! Her flash fiction crime story, “Torch Song for Two Voices”, was chosen over several hundred entries. In addition to publication in the anthology, That Golden Summer, the award carries a $500 prize.

Mesdames Mad Windigo FireMme M. H. Callway also learned today that her debut novel, Windigo Fire, published by Seraphim Editions is on Huffington Post’s list for Books for Book Clubs Fall 2014. She is thrilled beyond words to be included on the list of books by outstanding authors like Alexander McCall Smith, Lena Dunham, Ian McEwan and Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist).

RA-DontForgetIn early December, Mme Rosemary Aubert launches her new book, Don’t Forget You Love Me (Carrick Publishing). It is the latest book in her beloved, award-winning Ellis Portal series. Details of the launch will be available shortly.

SinC WholeSheBang2Mmes Catherine Astolfo and Melodie Campbell celebrated the launch of their stories in Toronto Sisters in Crime latest anthology, The Whole She-Bang 2. The print version is available at Sleuth of Baker Street and in print and e-format on Amazon.

Mme Donna Carrick and her co-editor, Alex Carrick, launch the print edition of their fabulous new anthology, World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing) at the Mesdames favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street, Saturday, Dec 6th, 2 to 4 pm. The book features the work of award-winning established authors and talented emerging writers. Eight Mesdames of Mayhem are proud to have their stories included.
World Enough Print Launch Invitation

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Meet the Mesdames, Joan O’Callaghan ~ by Donna Carrick

Authors, teachers, business-women and so much more!

This wonderful series on our very own Mesdames has been brought to you by Joan O’Callaghan, who today is being interviewed by Donna Carrick.

In addition to being a teacher and author in her own right, Joan is also the driving force behind most publicity efforts made on behalf of the Mesdames of Mayhem. A good portion of our successes to date can be attributed to those efforts, so we owe Joan a debt of gratitude.

Joan is a recipient of the Golden Apple Award from Queen’s University Faculty of Education for Excellence in Teaching; named Professor of the Year by OISE/UT Students Council, as well as Most Engaging English Instructor and Most Inspirational Instructor.

Most recently, her story “Runaway”, which appeared in the Excerpt Flight Deck 2014 anthology World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing), was a runner-up for the Bony Pete Short Story Contest Award.

Joan O'CallaghanDonna Carrick interviews author Joan O’Callaghan:

Donna: What have you written?

Joan: I’ve written three books which have been published, all non-fiction. Amazing Days (Scholastic Canada); Places to Go, People to See, Things to Do…All Across Canada (Scholastic Canada) was a best-seller with a press run of 16,000. It sold out. And Headlines – this is a teacher resource published as part of the Bold Print series by Rubicon (Canada). Amazing Days has been re-released as an e-book (Carrick Publishing), and Places to Go is being readied for e-publication (Carrick Publishing).

I’ve written a number of short stories; two are available in e-format (“George” and “For Elise”); “Stooping to Conquer” is included in the 2012 Excerpt Flight Deck anthology, EFD1: Starship Goodwords, while “Sugar ‘N’ Spice” is in Thirteen by the Mesdames of Mayhem (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Another story, “Runaway” appears in the 2014 Excerpt Flight Deck anthology, World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing).

I have written a novel which I am currently revising. I have also written or collaborated on more than 30 educational resources.

Donna: When did you start writing?

Joan: I have been writing as long as I can remember. I have recollections of a poem I wrote about Marco Polo when I was 6 or 7. And when I was 11, I wrote a play called Dr. Aspirin’s Angel Patients, starring me and my classmates. We actually got to perform it for the whole school.

I got sidetracked by academic and professional writing projects. but am now following my heart.

OK – I still do professional writing (educational) on a freelance basis. I have a couple of projects pending….

Donna: Why write mysteries?

Joan: Mysteries pose an interesting challenge. In essence you are structuring a puzzle but it has to be sufficiently entertaining to draw people in and hold them. I like exploring the vagaries of human nature, why people act as they do and how other people respond – a whole range of motivations and responses.

Donna: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

Joan: Since the beginning of time, people have longed for order and for justice, in a world where both are so frequently lacking. Sophocles taught that things happen because the gods order them to happen and it is not our place to question. Shakespeare and the Elizabethans believed in the Elizabethan World Order whereby if someone disturbed the Order of things, disorder followed and a then slow but inevitable process of purging the agents of disorder and re-establishing order.

Milton believed that at some point every human being comes face to face with the temptation to commit evil. They are completely alone when this happens, even though they may be in a crowd, and alone they have to either succumb or resist.

So this is part of being human. Mysteries satisfy that desire innate in us all – to see evil vanquished and justice done.

Donna: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

Joan: I write in my den which is where the computer resides. I do not have a particular ritual unless you count checking email or playing a game or two of Mah-Jong on the computer first.

Donna: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

Joan: With great difficulty. I am a widow and I do not have children. I do however have a very demanding cat. He likes to sit on the arm of my chair and lean into me when I am at my desk.

My job as an instructor at the University of Toronto gives me lots of flexibility. There are times however, such as when students complete assignments for marking, when I have to set my writing (and other things aside) and get the job done.

Donna: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

Joan: I am very happy that my short story “Runaway” took third prize in the 2014 Bony Pete contest. “Runaway” appears in the 2014 Excerpt Flight Deck anthology World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing).

One of my freelance projects for the Montreal Gazette’s Newspaper in Education program a number of years ago, won a newspaper award.

Donna: What are you working on now?

Joan: I am currently researching the Middle Ages for a short story I’m planning to write for Thirteen O’Clock, the new anthology of the Mesdames of Mayhem (to be released in the fall of 2015). I am also doing the revisions to my novel.

Donna: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Joan: I’ve received lots of valuable advice but the two that stand out are: Just keep writing no matter how good or bad you think it is –there is nothing you can’t fix on rewrite!
and

As soon as you finish one thing, start the next. That way you won’t get hung up on it……(thanks Mel Campbell!)

Donna: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

Joan: What a ride it’s been!!! The Mesdames are the most amazing group of women it’s been my privilege to know. They are so creative, talented and supportive to each other!! I am thrilled to be one of them.

Donna: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Joan: Watch for the two new anthologies: World Enough and Crime and Thirteen O’Clock. Great reading in both!!

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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Meet the Mesdames, Lynne Murphy ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

Lynne Murphy read her first mystery when she was about eight. It was “The Secret in the Old Well” by Carolyn Keene and she has been addicted ever since.

She studied journalism at Carleton University and worked as a reporter on the now defunct “Ottawa Journal” and then as an editor for CBC Radio News. (It was in the sixties and Lynne was the first woman editor they ever hired.) It was there she learned to “write tight”.


Lynne MurphyJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Lynne Murphy:

Joan: What have you written?

Lynne: A number of prepublished novels and several short stories. I am a journalist by profession so I’ve had newspaper stories and magazine articles published.

Joan: When did you start writing?

Lynne: Long, long, long ago.(Longer even than Cathy Dunphy.) I won a prize in a poetry contest in The Western Producer ( a prairie weekly) when I was about 7. It was called “Peaceful Thoughts Disturbed”. Do you want to hear the ending? “How lovely it is, here to sit, watching the beautiful butterflies flit. And oh, the green hills, they call and beck. Yeeeow! There’s a bug down the back of my neck.” So I was writing comedy even then.

Joan: Why write mysteries?

Lynne: I love reading them. I like the idea of there being rules to follow although my lawbreakers don’t always get punished.

Joan: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

Lynne: Probably for the same reason I like to write them.

Joan: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

Lynne: The ritual is trying to force myself to sit at the computer.

Joan: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

Lynne: I am happily retired and a grandmother so no problem.

Joan: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

Lynne: See the aforementioned poetry prize. I think it was an embroidery set. I was not thrilled because I was not the sort of little girl who did embroidery.

Joan: What are you working on now?

Lynne: A short story for the next Mesdames anthology, about warfare among seniors, living in a condo.

Write what you know!

Joan: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Lynne: From Howard Engel, in a writing class at Humber College. “Sometimes it doesn’t help to move things around. Sometimes you just have to start over.”

Joan: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

Lynne: The support and encouragement.

Joan: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Lynne: I have never much liked reading short stories so I’m rather surprised that I am having some success with them.

Lynne has sold articles through the years, but The Troublemaker in the Sisters in Crime anthology The Whole She-Bang is her first published work of fiction.

Her story Saving Bessie’s Worms brought a sparkle of humor to the Mesdames’ Crime anthology, THIRTEEN. (Carrick Publishing, 2013)

Lynne’s story Potluck will appear in the Fall, 2014 anthology, WORLD ENOUGH AND CRIME. (Carrick Publishing)

In 1992 Lynne helped found the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime and is proud that it continues to thrive.

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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Meet the Mesdames, D.J. (Dorothy) McIntosh~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

D.J. (Dorothy) McIntosh left her professional job to carve out a career as an author. It took almost ten years to research and write her novel, The Witch of Babylon but it’s now been released in North America and has sold in twenty countries around the world.

The novel was chosen by Amazon.ca as one of the best books of the year and by CNN International as one of six enduring historical thrillers along with notable writers like Agatha Christie, Umberto Eco and Dan Brown.

D.J. McIntoshJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Dorothy McIntosh:

JO: What have you written?

DM: Two novels: The Witch of Babylon and The Book of Stolen Tales, in addition to several short stories.

JO: When did you start writing?

DM: I discovered in elementary school how much I loved writing but it wasn’t until I left my profession after twenty years as a city planner, that I went back to my old love. I began with a short story in 1997.

JO: Why write mysteries?

DM: Crime novels provide a great platform for a very wide range of themes and so they enable me to explore ideas and history in my own writing but within the context of a strong, narrative driven work. The endless variety of the many sub genres of crime writing within a highly entertaining format has always attracted me in both my reading and my own writing.

JO: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

DM: I think readers like engrossing page turners and worlds they can easily escape into.

JO: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

DM: My favourite place to write is on the back deck of my cottage. No distractions (other than the blue jays and chippies), easier to concentrate and peaceful.

JO: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

DM: My daughter is all grown up and I no longer have a 9-5 office job, so I’m in the fortunate position of being able to devote myself to my full time job as an author.

JO: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

DM: The Witch of Babylon was a Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger finalist and it won the Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished novel.

JO: What are you working on now?

DM: The third book in the Mesopotamian series of antiquity thrillers featuring New York art dealer John Madison. In the new book John discovers his true birth story.

JO: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

DM: I’ve received much good advice over the years and it’s hard to pick out one particular statement as being better than another. What I would say is that the review process of input from my editor, Adrienne Kerr, has been invaluable and helped me to hone my craft.

JO: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames?

DM: My thirteen colleagues of course! Many of whom I’ve known for years and are very good friends.

JO: Is there anything you’d like to add?

DM: A thank you to Mesdames for tirelessly promoting our work.

The Book of Stolen TalesIn 2011, D.J. McIntosh took the book world by storm with her debut novel, The Witch of Babylon. Praised for its “stellar research” and “superb writing”, it introduced readers to John Madison, a rakish New York art dealer with a past, who uncovered a fabulous treasure trove of antiquities in the hills outside of Baghdad and the truth behind a famous story long believed to by a myth.

In the highly anticipated sequel, The Book of Stolen Tales, New York art dealer John Madison travels to London to purchase at auction a rare seventeenth-century Italian book of fairy tales for an anonymous client. Before he can deliver it to the buyer, he is robbed by a mysterious man claiming to be the book’s author.

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

Joan’s story Runaway was a runner-up for the 2014 Bony Pete Story Awards. It will appear in the anthology World Enough And Crime, to be released Fall, 2014 (Carrick Publishing).

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THE OCTOBER WALK OF FAME! by M.H. Callway

M.H. CallwayThe Mesdames of Mayhem are storming October with books launches, sales and readings galore! Here are the entries in our Brag Book:

Mesdames Mad Windigo FireMme M. H. Callway launched her debut novel, Windigo Fire, with great success at events in Toronto and Hamilton/Dundas. Seraphim Editions, her publisher, organized the launches for the “Magnificent Seven”, including Shawna Lemay, Chris Laing, John Delacourt and David Whitehouse. Editor Bernadette Rule presented Engravings, a collection of stories from World War One, including a contribution by Mme Vicki Delany. Visit http://www.thebookband.com for details on all these remarkable books.

Mme Mad is hosting a book party for Windigo Fire, this Saturday, October 18th, 4 to 6 pm at Sleuth of Baker Street, 907 Millwood Road. Admission free, readings and refreshments.

Mme Melodie Campbell, our own Queen of Comedy, launches the third book in her hilarious, Arthur and Derringer-winning Goddaughter series, The Artful Goddaughter. TODAY, Thursday, October 16th, 7 pm at the Ancaster Branch of the Hamilton Public Library, 300 Wilson Street East, Ancaster. Don’t miss the chance to sample fabulous cannolis and cupcakes while listening to award-winning comedy. Fedoras are optional.

More good news: Mme Joan O’Callaghan’s flash crime story, Torch Song for two Voices, was chosen for the anthology, That Golden Summer, to be published in December, 2014 by Polar Expressions. It is in competition for the prize for best story, the winner to be announced December, 2014.

Mme Donna Carrick is putting the finishing touches to Carrick Publishing’s mystery anthology, World Enough and Crime, which includes 22 stories and 1 poem by award-winning established authors and talented emerging writers. The works of eight Mesdames of Mayhem are part of the book. Readers are invited to the Virtual Launch Party on FaceBook: World Enough and Crime, on Sunday, October 26th from 2 to 6 pm EST.

Mme Vicki Delany and Japanese crime writer Fuminori Nakamura meet on Friday, October 24th, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Japanese Foundation, 131 Bloor Street West, 2nd floor for a literary discussion. They will exchange views on writing for diverse audiences and the genre of crime writing. Full details at http://jftor.org/event/japan-canada-literary-dialogue/

The Mesdames of Mayhem collectively storm the Barrie Public Library, Saturday, October 25th, 2 to 4 pm, 60 Worsley Street. The Barrie Examiner will be reporting on the doings of Mesdames Cathy Astolfo, Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Cathy Dunphy, Rosemary McCracken and Joan O’Callaghan.

Several of the Mesdames are doing individual readings this month. Mme Rosemary McCracken reads at the book launch event for authors Sharon Crawford and Klaus Jakelski, Sunday, October 19th, 3 pm, Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas Street East.

Mme Rosemary Aubert has a Crime Writers of Canada book group appearance at the Bendale Public Library at 1515 Danforth Road (not Danforth Avenue) on October 21st from 2-3:30 pm.

Mme M. H. Callway joins the author line-up of Junction Reads Series, Sunday, October 26th, 4 to 7 pm, 3030 Dundas Street West.

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