New Year Kitten
A New Year, Readers!

Greetings Readers!

As promised, here is Part Two of our annual round-up for 2021.

The Mesdames were incredibly busy in cyberspace taking part in conferences, book launches, readings and interviews.

We launched new regular features this year: Fun Facts share some secrets about the Mesdames and Messieurs. and Best Bookstore Friends. We’ll be continuing these in 2022!

And we’ve expanded our reach in social media, thanks to our Twitter Goddess, Jayne Barnard.

But nothing can replace the Real World. Fingers crossed that COVID fades out FOR GOOD and we can meet you later in 2022.

Zoom! Zoom!

Virtual Conferences!

Ontario Library Technicians Association Conference, May 8-15, 2021

MH Callway
Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell
Rosemary McCracken
Rosemary McCracken
Caro Soles
Melissa Yi

Several of Mesdames took part in the Crime Writers of Canada panels at the week-long conference. M. H. Callway and Melissa Yi discussed The Long and Short of It, Writing Short Stories and Novellas; Melodie Campbell and Caro Soles, talked comedy writing on Make ‘Em Laugh, Comic Relief to Comic Caper; and Rosemary McCracken lent her expertise on creating settings on Clearly Canadian, All Canadian Settings, eh?

And Melodie joined the CWC Author Spotlight Special Discussion Panel to talk about her body of crime fiction!

When Words Collide – Multi-genre Conference, August 13 to 15, 2021

Jayne Barnard and M. H. Callway participated in and /or moderated several panels: Writing Groups and How to Run Them; The Heroine’s Journey Continues on the changing role of women protagonists; Twisted on plot twists; Short Stories as Stepping Stones on developing a career in short fiction as a step toward novel publication; Love of the Land – The Importance of Place in Fiction; Crime Fiction in 2021: Trends and Evolution; and Big Crimes, Small Towns as a unique setting for mystery novels.

Caro Soles drew on her expertise in crime and speculative fiction to tell emerging writers about Cross-Genre Writing. Melissa Yi provided one-on-one author-writer consultations at the Blue Pencil Café.

Book Launches in Cyberspace!

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff launched her SF thriller, Shifting Trust, with a cover reveal and book trailer on May 29th and the official FaceBook event on September 15th.

The cover BTW is by her talented daughter, Louise Koren!

On December 11th, Renaissance Press hosted Deck the Halls with Books, a virtual holiday party, to celebrate their new book releases, including Shifting Trust!

Melissa Yi

On December 1st, Melissa Yi launched her latest book, White Lightning, a Prohibition-inspired thriller with a virtual speakeasy launch party.

Artisan distiller, Nathalie Gamache of Gin*Eco*Logic taught us how to mix a vintage cocktail called, appropriately enough, the Corpse Reviver #2. Spoiler alert: it’s delicious!

Caro Soles
Caro Soles

Caro Soles read and talked about her latest book in the speculative fiction Merculian series, The Colony Dancers.

See her talk on YouTube here.


Lisa de Nikolits
Lisa de Nikolits

Throughout the year, several Mesdames appeared on interviews and podcasts: M. H. Callway, Rosemary McCracken, Madona Skaff and Caro Soles.

But the most interviewed Madame was Lisa De Nikolits, who even appeared on an Italian blog to discuss the Italian translation of her novel, No Fury Like That.

Rosemary McCracken
Rosemary McCracken

On March 16th, Rosemary McCracken gave a Zoom presentation about Writing a Crime Fiction Novel to Ottawa Independent Writers (OIW). OIW has been supporting both fiction and non-fiction writers in the National Capital Region since 1986. It has more than 180 members.

And on May 13th, Rosemary spoke about crime fiction to Na’amat Canada, a non-profit volunteer Jewish women’s organization dedicated to improving the lives of families in Israel.

MH Callway

M. H. Callway joined a stellar line-up of guest authors at Toronto’s Noir at the Bar on June 24th, including Edgar nominee, C. S. O’Cinneide and best-selling author, Robert Rotenberg.

Madeleine read from her short story, “The Moon God of Broadmoor”, in Judy Penz Sheluk’s anthology, Moonlight and Misadventure.

A big thank you to Hope Thompson and Robert Brunet for their ongoing support of Canadian crime fiction.

Sisters in Crime Toronto

Madona Skaff
Melissa Yi

Madona Skaff spoke to SinC Toronto on March 18th about When Art Imitates Life and how to draw from real life without turning your fiction into autobiography.

On July 15th, Melissa taught the audience how to make sure medical details in your manuscripts are true to life. She also fielded a Q&A on common medical mistakes in crime fiction.



In September, Lisa De Nikolits launched her newest venture, I Read Somewhere That, a podcast AND a website. ireadsomewherethat

Lisa’s episodes and blogs contain fab debate, reviews of hot new books, advice and lots of buzzy book gossip about the publishing industry. Books to be featured are published by Inanna Publications, Breakwater Books Ltd., Dundurn Press and Wolsak and Wynn Publishers.

Best-selling author, Linwood Barkley appeared on Episode 10 of her Apple Podcast in 2021 – and the Mesdames were featured in Episode 9. You can subscribe here.

Fun Facts About..

The Mesdames launched two new features in our newsletter/blog communications in 2021, both of which we’ll be continuing in 2022.

If you were curious about what lies beneath our respectable facades, check out Fun Facts About and you learn that some of us have survived three terrorist bomb attacks, been strong-armed by security on a Royal Tour and even done a hula dance for the Mayor of Atlantic City.

Big thanks to Rosemary Aubert, Jane Burfield, Lisa De Nikolits, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy and Kevin Thornton for sharing their adventures.

Rosemary Aubert
Rosemary Aubert
Jane Petersen Burfield
Jane Burfield
Lynne Murphy
Lynne Murphy
Kevin Thornton
Kevin Thornton

Best Bookstore Friends

Cathy Dunphy
Cathy Dunphy

Bookstore owners and librarians are an author’s best friends! Cathy Dunphy and Melissa Yi kicked this new venture off the ground and interviewed the owners of R and L Book Nook in Alexandria, Ontario.

And a big thank you to Madona Skaff for the in-depth interview of her favourite book store, Perfect Books in Ottawa, Ontario.

A Fond Farewell to Bony Blithe

Cheryl Freedman

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

Skellngton Bony Blithe
Bony Blithe

And a Big Thank you to editors Marilyn and Roz for their hard work!

Marilyn Kay
Marilyn Kay
Rosalind Place
Roz Place
This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.