Mesdames on the Move: June 2021


June is a super-busy month for the Mesdames with lots of book news and events. We look forward to taking a break over the summer holidays to catch up on reading – and writing!


Lisa de Nikolits
Lisa de Nikolits

The Mesdames of Mayhem: How do your readers see you when they meet you today?

Lisa: People invariably say “Lisa, you’re such a sweet person, how on earth do you write such dark and bizarre books?” To which I have no answer!

Mesdames: What fun fact about you would blow them away?

Lisa: When I was young, I was an equine life coach a.k.a. a horse whisperer! I was an excellent animal trainer and I still am! I am very good with dogs and cats, too.

Mesdames: Have you used your animal training techniques in your writing?

Lisa: It’s helped me handle the difficult characters in my books. I know how to coax and cajole them and then crack the whip of tough love at an optimal moment!

Mesdames: Which book or story really needed your tough love?

All of them! I’ve published ten novels and written two more. I am currently working on the sequel to The Rage Room and I’m using all of those skills as we speak!

Learn more about Lisa’s amazing writing career at Inanna Publications, Inanna Publications – Canadian independent feminist press

And be sure to check out Lisa’s website at: and buy Lisa’s latest novel, The Rage Room, here:


Caro Soles

Congratulations to Caro Soles!

Ippy Awards 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Bronze Medal

Dancing with Chairs in the Music House (Inanna Publications

Melodie Campbell

Congratulations to Melodie Campbell, the new Vice President for Crime Writers of Canada!

Kevin Thornton

Kevin Thornton is keeping busy. Not only has he rejoined the board for Crime Writers of Canada, he’s also kept busy on the Awards, Marketing and Membership Committees, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Board of the local arts council here in Fort McMurray.

And that’s not all. He’s had a short story published in the latest MX Sherlock Holmes Short Story Collection, and has three more due by the end of June for their next volumes. He’s also got a story in the upcoming anthology Asinine Assassins, as well as Rich Ryan’s collection Sherlock Holmes, A Year of Mystery 1882, for the August story.

Jayne Barnard

Jayne Barnard is thrilled to announce the re-release of her award-winning Maddie Hatter Adventures. Twice finalists for the Aurora Award & named 2018 Alberta Book of the Year, these family-friendly novels follow a heroine as inquisitive as Eloise Bridgerton, as daring as Miss Scarlet, and as sharp a sleuth as Lady Holmes herself.

In Deadly Diamond  this amateur detective hunts a legendary gemstone, trails a cunning con-woman from Egypt to Europe & beyond, and goes undercover against a penny-pinching airship heiress who never lets a good grudge die.
Available June 1 from Amazon.

Book 2: Gilded Gauge is coming up for preorder any day now, and we’ll be launching a cover vote for Book 3 in early June.

Madona Skaff

Shifting Trust ( Renaissance Press) Madona Skaff-Koren‘s latest sci-fi novel is now available for pre-order!

Tyler Demir left the RCMP after an undercover operation he was in charge of turned deadly. Refusing to make life and death decisions anymore, he now works as assistant head of security for a military funded Canadian nano-tech company. But when one of their scientists is kidnapped, the military send Tyler to England to retrieve him.

Not sure who to trust, Tyler uses contacts from his undercover days to get the scientist to safety. At every step, he sees the rescue crumble around him and again he has blood on his hands.

How the hell did he manage to go from a stress-free job, where lives didn’t depend on his split-second decisions, to this?

Blair Keetch

Blair Keetch‘s short story ‘Killings 4 Sale’ appears with  Kevin Thornton‘s story, “One Good Thing” in the upcoming anthology ‘Asinine Assassins’ by Smart Rhino Publishing to be released in late 2021.

Asinine Assassins
Madeleine Harris Callway

On June 18thM. H. Callway’s story, “The Moon God of Broadmoor”, will be published in the anthology, Moonlight and Misadventures (Superior Shores Press), edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The book is available in print and eBook on Amazon: Moonlight & Misadventure: 20 Stories of Mystery & Suspense (A Superior Shores Anthology Book 3)

Moonlight & Misadventure


Join Madeleine on Thursday, June 24th, at Noir at the Bar on Zoom where she will be reading. More details later in June.

Madeleine is also participating in a virtual Ride to Conquer Cancer. Due to the lockdown, the Ride was moved from June 12 & 13th to August 28-29th

Melissa Yi’s story, “The Three Little Prigs”, a new take on the fairy tale, will appear in Burly Tales, edited by Lamda Literary Award winner Steve Berman Featured Products (

A Message from Cheryl Freedman and Bonny Blithe

Bony Blithe, our winsome, fun-loving skeletal lass, has several announcements to make today, but let’s start with the most important and happiest one: the winner of the 2021 Bloody Words Light Mystery Award, a literary award for books that make us smile.

Drumroll, please…and congratulations to our 2021 winner:

Iona Whishaw, A Match Made for Murder (Touchwood Editions)

In this 7th book in the Lane Winslow Mystery series, it’s November 1947 and newlyweds Lane Winslow and police inspector Fred Darling can’t escape murder, even on their honeymoon in sunny Tucson, AZ, some 2600 km away from their home in Nelson, BC.

Want to see what critics say about Iona’s book? Check out the jolly winner video produced by Caro Soles at

The Bony Blithe is an annual Canadian award celebrating traditional, feel-good mysteries. Now in its 10th year, the award includes everything from laugh-out-loud to gentle humour to good old-fashioned stories with little violence or gore – in short, books that are fun to read.

Party, Party, Party

We’re still planning to have an event to celebrate our 2020 and 2021 Bony Blithe Award winners as well as Bony Blithe’s 10th birthday, but we still don’t know when. We’re hoping for this October/November or alternately sometime in spring 2022. It all depends on what Ontario Public Health rules about group gatherings. Considering that many of us are at “that certain age” and the rest of us would like to get there, we will be limiting attendance to people who have been fully vaccinated. Stay tuned for more information on our FB page or

End of an Era

Bony Blithe is retiring. We’ve had a great run over the past 10 years, but now it’s time for our bony lass to rest her weary bones. We’d like to thank all the publishers and authors who’ve made the Bony Blithe Light mystery award the huge success it has been and who’ve given us so many delightful books to make us smile.

While we will no longer have an annual award and mini-con, we still want to pay homage to our wonderful Canuck light mystery authors, so watch for Bare Bones, the new and exciting Bony Blithe Light Mystery newsletter, coming soon.


When Words Collide August 13-15, 2021

The multi-genre conference, When Words Collide, is being held on Zoom from August 12-15th

o Panelists will include several Mesdames. Confirmed so far: Jayne Barnard and M. H. Callway.

o Registration is free, no cap on numbers but attendees must register beforehand

o This popular conference is an excellent way for authors to learn new writing tools and marketing strategies and to explore other genres. Lots of social events and readings, too.

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