February Brings Love, Dear Readers!

Have we got a boxload of goodies for you this February! Books, podcasts, a play, a super webinar to get you reading and writing short stories, a hilarious but wise take on writing and more writing resources.


 Melissa Yi’s play, The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World (and Other True Tales from the Emergency Room) was accepted to the 2022 Stage One Festival of New Canadian Work in Calgary.

Catherine Astolfo’s book of two mystery novellas, Twice the Chit, featuring The Flower Pots from Chittendom Creek, is now available as a paperback. 

Two murderous romps in one! Chittendom Creek is the site of the ReVisions Retirement Residence, the home of Kira Callahan and owned by Kira’s beloved sister. Along with her gang of retired hippies (the Flower Pots), Kira is forced to solve a mystery when oldies start dropping like flies. In the second adventure, Kira and the Pots venture out of RRR into dangerous territory to solve yet another mystery. Kira and the Pots are engaging, hilarious, but very successful amateur sleuths. Both the Pots and the plots will keep you guessing right up to the last page.


Are you struggling to read during this time of Covid? Are you struggling to finish reading a book you’ve picked up? And, if you’re a writer, are you struggling to write? These posts will help lift you out of the doldrums!

Check out Lisa de Nikolitis‘ new podcast, I Read Somewhere That. Her latest two: Why Stephen King will help your writing and How Patricia Highsmith will change your life will light up your reading and writing.

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell’s latest post on Sleuthsayers is her hilarious take on writing: Wanna Be a Paperback Writer. Here’s a taste.

I used to tell my writing classes that you need three things to become a writer:  You need talent.  You need to learn the craft.  And you need passion. I’ve now decided that the most important thing you need to continue to be a writer is a healthy sense of humour! (and a big supply of scotch).

On January 13th, Melissa Yi was on the Writers Block podcast to talk about her new book, White Lightning. The podcast can reach up to 600K people. She enjoyed a Corpse Reviver cocktail for courage! Here’s the link:

Melissa Yi


On January 18th, Donna Carrick presented a Webinar: Short Story Writing for the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) webinar series. Her webinar is now available on YouTube.

Donna Carrick talks about the craft of short-story writing via Crime Writers of Canada


The Rage Room by Lisa de Nikolits

A lovely review of The Rage Room by Lisa de Nikolits penned by writer Sharon A. Crawford of the Beyond mystery series.  Devour: Art & Lit Canada, issue 12, Winter 2021-2022 by Wet Ink Books –

De Nikolits has created a futuristic novel filled with more twists and turns than a country road married to a maze. She uses suspense, humour, imagination, science, and some very quirky characters with distinctive characteristics. … Setting is also important in futuristic novels and de Nikolits does not disappoint. The reader cannot only see, but hear, and smell the sweat running down Sharp’s neck and clothes; the dead bodies lying on the stairs and sidewalks of St. Polycarp as it begins reverting to a natural existence.

Then there are the two ultimate settings: the actual jumps and the rage room. The reader becomes a part of the novel. The plot, setting, and characters combine to provide an interesting dilemma – should Sharks (sic) fix his past so he can erase his fatal mistakes, or must he still suffer the consequences of his actions? The reader needs to remember the three elements of the novel as they all play a part in The Rage Room. No spoilers here. To find the answer, you must read The Rage Room. Make time to read it.”


Kerri Cathers, who was interviewed by Rosemary McCracken a few weeks ago, has published her first newsletter, A Curiosity of Crime. It’s a free resource for historical writers. You may subscribe on the A Curiosity of Crime website.

Sam Wiebe, one of Canada’s leading crime writers, is teaching an online creative writing course at University of Toronto: Plotting and Writing a Mystery. It is for both established and emerging authors. For more information: 2698 – Plotting and Writing a Mystery, School of Continuing Studies – University of Toronto.

Fun Facts About…

The next Fun Facts About… will be on Sylvia Warsh. Watch for it in mid-February.

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