Mesdames on the Move–February

maverick publisherOn Jan. 21st the Mesdames of Mayhem were out in force to support their colleague, Mme. Joan O’Callaghan at the launch of her late husband’s book, Maverick Publisher.

Joan O’Callaghan endured several sleepless nights worrying about everything from whether the cheese tray would be sufficient, to finding a parking space, as she prepared to host the launch of Maverick Publisher. She needn’t have worried. The launch proceeded without a hitch.

Approximately 50 guests gathered in the Venn at the Rogers Communication Centre, Ryerson University to celebrate the posthumous publication of J. Patrick O’Callaghan’s memoirs.  As O’Callaghan’s widow, Joan pointed out in her remarks, the crowd not only celebrated the memoirs, but in so doing, honoured O’Callaghan’s memory and preserved his legacy.


Margaret Wente and Joan

MC for the evening was Globe and Mail columnist, Margaret Wente.  Wente pointed out that the launch was timely, given the announcement that week that several newspapers in the Postmedia stable would amalgamate, with the loss of numerous industry jobs.  The company, Wente commented acerbically, is owned by a US hedge fund that places a higher premium on toothpaste than on news media.

Wente’s praise for J. Patrick (Pat) O’Callaghan as a “giant in Canadian journalism” was echoed by guest William Thorsell, former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, and more recently CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum, who had been trained and mentored by O’Callaghan at The Edmonton Journal.  Thorsell reminisced about being told by O’Callaghan that the worst thing a newspaper could be was a 5-letter word, “BLAND.”

Among the guests was Keith Kincaid, retired president of the Canadian Press, whom O’Callaghan credits with positioning the news collective to face the challenges of the 21st century.

After reading from the memoirs, Joan O’Callaghan encouraged the guests to do exactly as Patrick O’Callaghan would want them to do – eat, drink, and enjoy themselves.


On Saturday, February 6th, five Mesdames: M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell, Lisa De Nikolits, Rosemary McCracken and Joan O’Callaghan will be featured in Burlington Heritage Fair’s Women on the Move.

The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffragette Movement. The Mesdames are honored to be invited by the organizers. At 2:00 pm, they will give a panel on the challenges facing women crime writers in a male-dominated genre.  Their books will be available for sale all day at the Mesdames of Mayhem booth.

Join the Mesdames at this great event at the Burlington Central Library, Centennial Hall, 2331 New Street, Burlington from 10 am to 3 pm.


Later in February, Mmes Jane Burfield, M. H. Callway and Melodie Campbell will be attending Left Coast Crime, Phoenix, Arizona together with several of Canada’s leading crime writers. In addition to serving on panels, on Friday, February 26th, they will be part of the “Meet the Canucks” CWC event to promote Canadian crime writing to American authors and fans. Full write-up in March.

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

Mme. Rosemary McCracken is teaching Novel Writing II: Developing Your Novel at George Brown College through March 29. The class is scheduled to repeat during the spring semester, starting April 12th.  Follow the link  and check back in March for the details.


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The Mesdames Walk the Talk: The Set-up!

Over the next few months, we Mesdames will share our thoughts on public appearances in the blog series “Walk the Talk”.  We will share what worked well and pass our  suggestions on to you, our fellow authors. Here we are, respectable as always, at the launch of 13 O’clock!

13 O'Clock Launch Website1


Editor Lynne Murphy

Introduction by Lynne Murphy

On February 6th, the Mesdames of Mayhem will appear at the Burlington Heritage Fair as part of an event honouring and celebrating women in the arts, business, politics and history. The theme of the event this year is Women on the Move and  it marks the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Canada. The Mesdames planning to attend are  M.H. Callway, Melodie Campbell, Rosemary McCracken, Lisa de Nikolits and Joan O’Callaghan. They will discuss our anthologies, Thirteen and Thirteen O’clock, and their own books. The Fair will take place at the Central Branch of the Burlington Library from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

The invitation came about as a result of an appearance at the Burlington Library last year by some of the Mesdames and is quite an honour for our group. In the past two years, the Mesdames have made dozens of appearances at libraries, book clubs and other venues.

In this first article, The Set-Up, Mme. Joan O’Callaghan tells just what goes into arranging these events.

Joan O'Callaghan

Joan O’Callaghan


The Mesdames have had a very successful run at many  libraries not only in Toronto but in other cities as well. Libraries are great places for authors, both seasoned and newly minted, to appear. Librarians are always interested in new books and by hosting authors, they learn about what’s new, give authors a chance to promote their books, and at the same time serve their communities by providing interesting and entertaining programs. In short, librarians can be your best friends and deserve all the support we can provide.

A visit to a library generally begins with a little research. This involves scouting out suitable locations and determining how to go about making contact. This will vary from location to location. In Toronto, the public library system invites people to submit a proposal on its website. Presumably, if the proposal meets the established guidelines, it is circulated through the various branches. The Mesdames received two invitations as a result of this. (Of course, there is nothing to stop an enterprising author from visiting a branch of the library and making their own arrangements.) In other places, there might be a program director or a librarian charged with this responsibility.

A proposal should include an introduction-in this case I introduce myself and explain the Mesdames of Mayhem. Then there should be a description of how a program might unfold. I always point out that while we do not charge for an appearance, we do ask permission to sell our books. I conclude with an invitation to visit our website (and include the link) to learn more about us. Once we receive a favourable response, there is a lot of negotiating back and forth. This includes date, time, duration of the program, and number of Mesdames appearing. The library may also require that we sign a contract.

Later, the negotiations become more focused. I always request a table and chairs for us, a table to display our books, and drinking water (reading and speaking tends to be dry work.) I also request that they forward to us any promotion that they are doing for the event so that we may post it to our own website and our individual Facebook pages. The library almost always asks for the names, brief bios, and sometimes photos of those who are coming.

We have been fortunate in our dealings with libraries. Some Mesdames, such as Catherine Astolfo, have forged an ongoing connection with the local librarian and have been able to build that relationship. In another case, we had a librarian participate in an interview about us with the local radio station, and arrange for a reporter from the local newspaper to attend our session. This resulted in an article and photograph. Welcome publicity!

Next in the series:  Mesdames Catherine Astolfo, Lynne Murphy, M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell and Rosemary McCracken will share their experiences and the pleasures and perils of public appearances.

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Mesdames on the Move: January 2016

maverick publisherHappy New Year everyone. We are beginning 2016 with a special event. On Thursday, January 21st, the Toronto launch of Maverick Publisher: J. Patrick O’Callaghan, A Life In Newspapers will be held at Ryerson University, Room RCC 103, 80 Gould St., Toronto. Pat’s widow, Mme. Joan O’Callaghan, is a founding member of the Mesdames and she was instrumental in the publication of the memoir.

Joan O'Callaghan - Maverick Publisher Launch e-Vite USE.png

The first launch was held in Calgary in November, 2015 (see our interview with Joan, November 14th, 2015) but Pat had many friends in Toronto who were unable to attend so a second launch has been organized.

A number of the Mesdames have been involved in the book. M. Ed Piwowarczyk  is the editor assisted by Mme. Rosemary McCracken and the publishers are Donna and Alex Carrick of Carrick Publishing.

Globe and Mail  columnist Margaret Wente, a friend to both Pat and Joan, will act as MC at the launch.

caperMme. Melodie Campbell’s newest, The Goddaughter Caperwill be available on Jan. 19th in print in Chapters, Indigo, Amazon and Barnes & Noble and in all the usual places in ebook.  Details on the launch in our next blog.

Rosemary A Signing

Mme Rosemary Aubert will speak at Taylor Memorial  Library, 1440 Kingston Rd., Toronto on Tuesday, January 27th at 2:00 p.m. Rosemary,  whose latest book in the Ellis Portal series is Don’t Forget You Love Me,  will talk about the issues the Ellis Portal novels have raised and what it takes to be a mystery novelist.

Rosemary McCrackenOn Wednesday, January 28th, several of the Mesdames will attend the Ontario Public Libraries Confence in Toronto as part of the CWC program. This is an event for librarians to meet Canadian writers and learn what is new and forthcoming. Participants will be Mesdames M. H. Callway with Thirteen O’clockMelodie Campbell with The Goddaughter Caper,  Lisa de Nikolits with  The Nearly Girl, (due in the Fall of this year), and Rosemary McCracken, who is almost finished her third Pat Tierney novel, working title Raven Lake.  Rosemary’s publisher, Imajin Books, has expressed interest in the new book and so have her readers.


The Mesdames were honoured by being asked to participate in a City of Burlingon Museums event, the Burlington Heritage Fair on Saturday, February 6th. This year’s theme is “Women on the  Move”.

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

Joan O'Callaghan

Joan O’Callaghan

M. H. Callway

Lisa De Nikolits







The event celebrates women in the arts, business, politics and history on the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Canada. It will be held at the Central Branch of the Burlington Library. Mmes. M.H. Callway,  Joan O’Callaghan , Lisa de Nikolitis and Melodie Campbell will represent the Mesdames  to talk about our anthologies and their own work.

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13 O'Clock Launch Website1

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Mesdames of Mayhem!  We had an amazing year in 2015, culminating in the publication of our second anthology, 13 O’clock!,  an eclectic collection of 15 twisted tales of time and crime.


The 14 authors of 13 O’clock are showing off their criminal spirits in the above photo taken at the October launch at our favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street. From L to R, back row, Cathy Dunphy, Donna Carrick, Joan O’Callaghan, Rosemary McCracken, Ed Piwowarczyk, Cheryl Freedman, Lisa De Nikolits, Cathy Astolfo, M. H. Callway. From L to R front row, Sylvia Warsh, Rosemary Aubert, Jane Peterson Burfield, Melodie Campbell and Lynne Murphy.


Several Mesdames had new books and short stories published this year.  Catherine Astolfo launched her new comedy series with her novella, Up Chit Creek, where retirees get up to no good. (Imajin Books)

Melodie Campbell and Cynthia St. Pierre co-wrote the second book in their highly enjoyable “fashionista”  series, A Killer Necklace. (Also with Imajin Books.)

Inanna Publications brought out Lisa De Nikolits fifth novel, Between the Cracks She Fell, a crime story that explores homelessness and conflicting religious values. Her book  received great reviews in Quill and Quire, Canadian Living and many other publications. She also had literary stories published in the anthology,  Postscripts to Darkness and in the debut issue of Maud. Lin House.

Rosemary McCracken’s wryly comic story, “Plastic Paddies”, appeared in the gripping travel anthology, Destination Mystery (Darkhouse Books).

Penguin released D. J. McIntosh’s third book in her critically acclaimed Mesopotamian thriller trilogy, The Angel of Eden. Margaret Cannon of the Globe and Mail has praised Dorothy’s  for her “stellar research and superb writing”.

346e9c_5f68dc08aa5d4f56bde48a3b7b011eaf_jpg_srb_p_299_449_75_22_0_50_1_20_0  Dorothy McIntosh - The Angel of Eden COVER  11745683_10207315547467633_2085409939034481613_n41KYdKTrX8L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

The Mesdames were also busy as editors. Through Carrick Publishing, Mme Joan O’Callaghan  brought out, Maverick Publisher, the memoirs of her late husband, J. Patrick O’Callaghan, one of Canada’s leading publishers and journalists. The book was co-edited by Ed Piwowarczyk and Rosemary McCracken.

Caro Soles and fellow author, Nancy Kilpatrick, created the Poe tribute anthology, Nevermore, featuring macabre tales by many acclaimed authors, including Margaret Atwood, Barbara Fradkin and David Morell.  We were delighted that Jane Petersen Burfield’s gothic tale was singled out for critical praise.


maverick publisher



This year M. H. Callway and Melodie Campbell both received Arthur Ellis nominations. The photo below shows them at the Arthur Ellis shortlist event with fellow nominee and friend, Rick Blechta and host, Alison Dore (far right).


M. H. Callway’s critically acclaimed thriller, Windigo Fire, (Seraphim Editions) was a finalist for Best First Novel and Melodie Campbell’s story “Hook, Line and Sinker” (Northword Literary Journal) was nominated for Best Short Story.

2015 was also a great year for Carrick Publishing. Their anthology, World Enough and Crime, received nominations for two stories: M. H. Callway’s story, “The Ultimate Mystery”, was a finalist for the Derringer Award for Best Long Story and  Kevin P. Thornton’s story, “Writer’s Block”, was a runner-up for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story.

Donna Carrick has mentored many aspiring crime writers through the CWC Mentoring Program.  This year, she was especially delighted that her mentee, Elle Wild, won the Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript for Strange Things Done – and signed a contract with Dundern Press.


The Mesdames gave several readings at public libraries and book clubs this year and supported each other and fellow crime writers at many book launches. (Check out our events pages for full details.) Big bouquets of roses and warm hugs go to Joan O’Callaghan, Catherine Astolfo and Melodie Campbell for arranging the lion’s share of these events.

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The Mesdames of Mayhem wish to thank their wonderful readers for making 2015 the best year ever! Now that the holidays are here, do give books as gifts – especially crime fiction!!

Our two fab anthologies give readers a chance to find a new favorite author.

13 O’clock, features twisted tales of crime and time by 14 authors.

Thirteen, the book that started it all, contains two Arthur Ellis runners-up and one Derringer finalist.


Many Mesdames also have stories in the leading anthologies below. Nevermore was edited by Mme Caro Soles with fellow author, Nancy Kilpatrick. World Enough and Crime was edited by Mme Donna Carrick with Alex Carrick.

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Now curl up in front of the fire with exciting novels and non-fiction by the Mesdames!


Catherine Astolfo

Catherine Astolfo

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Rosemary Aubert

Rosemary Aubert

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M. H. Callway

M. H. Callway






Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

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Donna Carrick

Donna Carrick

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Lisa DeNikolits

Lisa DeNikolits




D. J. McIntosh

D. J. McIntosh

The Witch of Babylon   Dorothy McIntosh - The Angel of Eden COVER



Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

86651d0f9779f871e259679e38149042_5bi5  Black Water, a Pat Tierney mystery




Sylvia Maultash Warsh

Sylvia Maultash Warsh

Season of Iron   Find Me Again 510bYdNuNBL__SX325_BO1,204,203,200_  41Guqsy+9LL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_



Joan O'Callaghan

Joan O’Callaghan

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Caro Soles

Caro Soles

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Blame it on Agatha!

Mme Melodie Campbell, our Queen of Comedy, writes this week’s blog!  She is an award-winning author of 40 short stories and 9 novels, including A Purse to Die For, co-written with Cynthia St-Pierre. Melodie has won 10 awards for fiction, including the 2014 Derringer (US) and Arthur Ellis (Canada) and is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.


Okay, I admit it. Along with coffee, dark chocolate, and foreign men named Raoul, I have an addiction.

I’m a sucker for the “You won’t guess the ending” Whodunit.

I blame Agatha Christie for this addiction. She is also to blame for a lot of eleven-year-old sleepless nights, as well as my father’s near heart attack in 1970 when I announced at the dinner table, “I know thirteen ways to poison people and not get caught.”


Christie was indeed the Queen of Plot. After an appetizer of Nancy Drew, I whipped through Poirot, Marple, and Tommy and Tuppence in less than two years. Then I moved on to Sayers, Allingham, Marsh and any traditional mysteries I could get my hands on.

Why? It’s the chess game. The sheer bliss of pitting my mind against the author’s to see if I can guess the killer before the story’s detective.

To this day, I relish a book that plays fair, leaves me the clues, and stumps me at the end.So it’s no surprise that my ninth published book, co-written with good friend Cynthia St-Pierre, is a traditional whodunit.

Welcome, A KILLER NECKLACE, which hit the mystery Top 100 bestseller list on its day of release! It appears we are not alone in loving that killer surprise ending.

My favorite lines from the reviews posted thus far?

“The pacing is sharp, quick and very funny, a good combination for a mystery that is hard to put down. But the special ingredient is an ending I sure didn’t see coming.”

THAT is what we set out to do. THAT is the kind of book that makes me smile and gives me chills.

Like a classic “You won’t guess the ending” whodunit? See if you can guess the killer in A KILLER NECKLACE. Here’s a short excerpt:

Jewelry was something Gina knew about, just as she knew about fashion. What’s more, she knew about the women who had real jewelry…how they behaved. What they thought. How they felt about it. So there was one question that still haunted her. Yes, they had found Louisa’s sapphire and diamond necklace. But where was all the other stuff?

To read Mel’s mystery on Amazon, click the book page image above. Here are the Smashwords, Kobo and Googleplay links:





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Authorgraph by Mme. Catherine Astolfo

Catherine Astolfo346e9c_5f68dc08aa5d4f56bde48a3b7b011eaf_jpg_srb_p_299_449_75_22_0_50_1_20_0When my publisher first launched me into space (Internet space that is), I was more than a little out of my element. Before Imajin Books took me on, I was strictly a paperback girl. One of the burning questions I had about e-books was: how do readers get an author’s autograph?
Well, along came Evan Jacobs and his great invention: Authorgraph. Now I am able not only to get the autographs I want, but I can also sign for readers of my books who are halfway across the world.
Below is almost all the information you can possibly want about Authorgraph. Here’s the other thing you need: Go ahead, sign up – it’s FREE.
1. What is an Authorgraph?
It’s a personal, digital inscription for an e-book. It is sent directly from an author to a reader’s digital reading device.
2. What does an Authorgraph look like?
Here is an example
3. Is affiliated with Amazon?
No, is not affiliated with Amazon except that earns an affiliate fee for any books purchased from after clicking on one of the Amazon links on
4. Do readers need to own or buy my book in order to receive an Authorgraph?
No, but readers who request your Authorgraph are very likely to be current or future readers.
5. Do readers need to own a Kindle device to receive an Authorgraph?
No, Authorgraphs are viewable on a wide variety of platforms. Readers can simply enter a regular email address at the time of their request and they will receive an email with links to download a PDF version (viewable in applications like iBooks) or an AZW version (viewable in all Kindle apps on iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, etc.) of their Authorgraph.
6. Is the Authorgraph inserted into the e-book?
No, it is a separate document. This allows a reader to create a “collection” where she can keep all of her Authorgraphs together.
7. Do I need to have a Kindle version of my book to sign up for Authorgraph?
Yes. Paperback, hardcover, and audio versions of books aren’t accepted.
8. Does an Authorgraph use my real signature or does it just print my name in a script font?
One of the most distinctive features of is the ability to actually draw your signature. This signing takes place completely in the browser window using a mouse (or your finger if you use a tablet). However, there is also a default option that allows authors to print their name in a script font if they don’t want to use the signing feature.
9. Can Authorgraphs be personalized?
Yes! Every Authorgraph goes only to the specific reader that requested it so an author can write a custom message for each reader. In addition, readers can include a short message to the author in order to provide a bit more context for personalizing the Authorgraph.
10. Is there a cost to send or receive an Authorgraph?
Requesting, sending and receiving Authorgraphs are free! However, if a reader uses Amazon’s Personal Document Service to receive the Authorgraph on his/her Kindle then Amazon may charge a small delivery fee.
PS Evan is always happy to hear about authors’ and readers’ experiences with Authorgraph, so feel free to contact him:

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Mme Joan O’Callaghan: New Book, Maverick Publisher

Joan O'Callaghan

maverick publisher“Maverick Publisher: J. Patrick O’Callaghan; A Life in Newspapers” is the culmination of a labour of love for Pat’s widow, Joan O’Callaghan, a founding member of the Mesdames of Mayhem. Lynne Murphy talked to Joan about her work on the memoir and Pat O’Callaghan’s life.

The launch will be held on November 26th from 7 to 9 Owl’s Nest Books, 815A 49th Avenue, S.W., Calgary, Alberta.


L.M.: First I want to ask about the title. Why the term “maverick”?

Joan: We took the title from a comment by Brian Brennan, a former Calgary Herald journalist, on his blog. He described Pat as a “maverick publisher.” Editor of the book, and former employee of Pat’s at the Windsor Star, Ed Piwowarczyk, thought it was an apt title and I agreed. Pat did not run with the herd. He lived and breathed newspapering and did not hesitate to stand up to government, Southam head office, or anyone whom he felt placed obstacles in the way of an effective and free press. He was something of a pioneer. He was one of the first to appoint women, outside of family-owned newspapers, to senior editorial posts (The Sun used to refer to the “girls who ran the Herald”) and was the first in Canada to convert a large auditorium in the Herald building to a daycare centre for the children of Herald employees. This did not endear him to other publishers who found themselves lobbied by their own employees to follow suit. He also broke the sex-barrier at the Petroleum Club in Calgary, which prior to this, did not accept women as members.

L.M.: Pat was born in Ireland. What brought him to Canada?

Joan: Pat was born in Ireland but grew up in England. He was working at the Liverpool Daily Post when it bought the Red Deer Advocate in 1958. Pat was sent to Red Deer in 1959 as Managing Editor to turn the paper from a weekly to a daily. But before going to Red Deer, he spent six months at the Peterborough Examiner learning about the Canadian newspaper industry. He worked for Robertson Davies!

L.M.: He worked on a number of Canadian newspapers before ending his career at the Calgary Herald.

Joan: Yes, after Red Deer, he went to the Edmonton Journal as Assistant to the Publisher, later to the Windsor Star as Publisher, back to the Edmonton Journal as Publisher, and then to the Calgary Herald as Publisher.

L.M.: Mme. Rosemary McCracken, who was a reporter on the Calgary Herald during Pat’s time there, says he was the best publisher she ever worked for. What made him so good at his job?

Joan: A combination of factors, I’d say. First of all he was a working journalist. Exactly four weeks before he died, he wrote an article that was published in the Globe and Mail. He was one of the last publishers to come up through the editorial stream so he knew what constituted a good newspaper and insisted on putting out as good a product as humanly possible. His battles with Southam’s head office over new presses for the Edmonton Journal nearly cost him his health, but in the end he got them. Reporters and editors respected him for his talent, his skill, and most of all his integrity. Second, he believed in his staff and supported them wholeheartedly but at the same time he wouldn’t put up with nonsense. There was a reporter at the Herald who was just obnoxious – as an example, he had a habit of driving staff cars out onto the prairie until they ran out of gas, then calling the paper, cursing and swearing until someone drove out to get him. Pat fired him.

L.M.: I understand a number of members of the Mesdames have helped you with getting the memoir ready for publication.

Joan: The Mesdames have all been wonderfully supportive and cheering me on. I have to give credit to Rosemary McCracken. I don’t think this day would have come without her invaluable advice, support and encouragement. And I have mentioned Ed Piwowarczyk, and of course, Carrick Publishing.

L.M.: As Pat’s widow, was it difficult for you working on his memoir?

Joan: Actually, no. To the contrary, I enjoyed it. Pat wrote the memoirs with a light touch and a conversational tone. When I sat down at the computer to work on the book, it felt like I was having a visit with him, that he was sitting next to me, telling me his stories. It was very comforting – so much so that once I have the actual print copy in hand, I intend to put it at my bedside where I can dip into it.

L.M.: You are a writer too. What influence has Pat had on your work?

Joan: Pat was wonderfully encouraging! When Scholastic Canada sent me the contract for my first book, Amazing Days, he ran around the house shouting, “Author! Author!” When Scholastic told me that they wanted the manuscript for the second book submitted on disk (this was the mid-nineties), he went out and bought me what was then a state-of-the art computer. He would get excited when we saw my books displayed prominently in bookstores or when Scholastic’s clipping service sent me reviews. I could not have asked for a more wonderful life partner. He made me believe that I could be whatever I wanted to be!

L.M.: Thank you, Joan. We look forward to reading Pat’s memoir.

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lynne Today’s blog by Mme Lynne Murphy.

13 O'Clock Launch Website1Our new anthology, Thirteen O’clock, was  launched to enthusiastic applause on Sunday, October 25th and the Mesdames are back at work, appearing at libraries, launches and giving workshops.

cover4On Sunday, November 8th, Mesdames Melodie Campbell, Catherine Dunphy, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy and Joan O’Callaghan will be at the Guelph Public Library, 100 Norfolk St., from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. to talk about Thirteen O’clock  and the writing life.


41KYdKTrX8L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Mme. Campbell will also be at the Erin Public Library, 14 Boland Drive in Erin, on Saturday, November 14th at 10:00 a.m. Her new book, A Killer Necklace, co-written with Cynthia St. Pierre, launched in October.



Mme. M.H. Callway is giving a series of workshops on “How to Get Published” by sharing the publication journey of her debut novel, Windigo Fire. Dates are:  November 12th at 2:30 p.m at the Sherwood Library at 467 Upper Ottawa St.,  Hamilton; November 23d at 5:00 p.m., at the Barbara Frum Library, 30 Covington Rd., Toronto; and November 24th, 6:30 p.m. at the Agincourt Library. 155 Bonis Ave., in Agincourt.


On Tuesday, November 17th,  Mme. Lisa de Nikolitis will be a special guest when Sheryl Gordon launches her book, “A Rewording Life”, in Toronto. Sheryl invited Canadian authors, including the Mesdames,  to choose a word and write a sentence.  The book is a tribute to Sheryl’s mother who had Alzheimer’s and the launch is to raise funds for the disease.Other special guests are Luke Nicholson, Terry Fallis and Dalton Higgins.  Lisa’s chosen word was “damask”. This event is by invitation due to space limitations.

Lisa also will be taking part in another Noir at the Bar evening on November 30th. Details to come. Her latest novel, Between the Cracks She Fell, is receiving great reviews!



And since all work and no play is bad for us, many of the Mesdames will be joining fellow Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime at their joint holiday party on Tuesday, December 8th at Paupers’ Pub in Toronto. See you there.

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13 O’Clock launches at the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore!

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Thirteen O’clock is now available in print form at Sleuth of Baker Street and online at
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The Mesdames of Mayhem launched the print edition of their newest anthology, Thirteen O’clock, on Sunday, October 25th at Sleuth of Baker Street. All the Mesdames were there to read tantalizing excerpts from their stories and sign copies of the book.
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M.H. (Madeleine) Callway, the founder of the group, welcomed everyone and thanked Marian Misters and J.D. Singh for, once again, opening their doors to us and to our relatives, friends and fans. The Mesdames set out an amazing selection of food and drink for our guests. Ted Carrick, a talented young musician, son of our publishers Alex and Donna Carrick, provided background music on his guitar.
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The theme of the book is “time” but the fourteen writers have interpreted it in many different ways. Joan O’Callaghan’s tale of suspected witchcraft, “Thrice the Brinded Cat”, is set during the Middle Ages. Sylvia Maultash Warsh evokes 1970s Toronto in “Life is a Big Headache”. Ed Piwowarczyk , our token monsieur, is definitely writing about the present in “Life Lesson”, where the need to cut jobs creates a deadly rivalry. Melodie Campbell provides a glimpse into the future in “The Test of Time”. And Cheryl Freedman takes us to a very warped fairy tale land in “Mirror, Mirror.”

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Other stories hinge on time running out. Rosemary McCracken’s Pat Tierney must act quickly to save a life in “Nick of Time.” In Catherine Dunphy’s “Beat the Clock”, a life is also on the line. M.H. Callway’s heroine in “Glow Grass” comes to realize that she may have very little time left. And Jane Burfield, in the story “Hidden”, uses just over 300 words to get us inside the mind of a woman, waiting for a decision.

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Time passes and people change with age. Rosemary Aubert, in “The Bench Rests” and Lynne Murphy in “Being Leda Fox” write about memories, affected by time. Memories that haunt and drive people to crime is a theme in Donna Carrick’s ”The 14th of Forever.” And Catherine Astolfo’s senior protagonist in “Pulling a Rabbit” has just got tougher with age. In “Troubled Times” by Lisa de Nikolits a young woman realizes how her family’s dark past influences the present.
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