On October 27th, the fabulous Mesdames of Mayhem celebrated the print launch of their first anthology, Thirteen, at their favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street.
The serendipitous and ghostly collision of date and title made the Halloween theme a no-brainer!
Several of the Mesdames appeared in costume: Cathy Astolfo, Melodie Campbell and Jane Peterson Burfield made glamorous witches. Lynne Murphy celebrated her short story, Bessie’s Worms, by impersonating a composter, though happily the worms were of the gummy variety. And Mel’s hubby, Dave, stole the show as a wicked Scottish pirate complete with kilt!
Mme Joan O’Callaghan, the Mesdames marketing guru and organizer of the launch, decorated Sleuth’s with ghoulish delights, without hiding the books and leaving plenty of space for book signings and browsing. Joan’s niece, Jordana Eisen, generously donated her interior design expertise and her private collection of Halloween party gear. Especially popular were: the hay bale with crawling black rats; the 1940’s talking telephone tapped into the spirit world; and the eerie books that moaned and shuffled on the shelf.
Mesdames Rosemary Aubert, Vicki Delany, D. J. McIntosh and Rosemary McCracken lent their extensive experience with book launches. This included streamlining our autograph marathon: try organizing a dozen authors to sign more than fifty books!
And what is a celebration without noms? The Mesdames provided a cornucopia of nibbles and home-baked goodies like fossil cookies and gummy worm cupcakes. The spider cakes were also well-liked. Wine flowed, thanks to Mesdames Catherine Dunphy and M. H. Callway. Madeleine’s husband, Ed Callway, tended bar and their daughter, Claire Callway, acted as photojournalist.
Book signings and mingling with family, friends and fans kept the Mesdames busy and out of trouble. Mesdames Caro Soles and Cheryl Freedman dropped by to share many hugs and congratulations. The big highlight of the afternoon was the readings done by Thirteen’s authors. By the end of the day, seventy books had been sold and signed.
A lovely surprise: publisher extraordinaire, Mme Donna Carrick and co-editors, Joan and Madeleine were thanked by the Mesdames with lovely long-stemmed roses, presented by Mme Dorothy (D. J.) McIntosh!
A major thank you to wonderful bookseller and BFF of the Mesdames, Marian Misters of the Sleuth of Baker Street Mystery Bookstore for sponsoring the launch.
And last but not least a pat on the head to Percy, resident reading dog. Percy refrained from playing with the large plastic rats and showed remarkable restraint by the food table. His virtue was amply rewarded by treats of cheese at clean-up time.
Our thanks to the Sleuth of Baker Street for hosting our launch.
And heartfelt gratitude to our talented event photographer, Claire Callway!