MESDAMES ON THE MOVE FOR APRIL 2021

Happy Spring!

Greetings Readers!

It’s spring at last. Vaccinations are rolling out and the Mesdames are looking forward to seeing you all in the real world before too long.

What’s more, April opens crime writing award season! And we’ve got plenty of our members with entries in this year’s Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence and the Derringers.

FUN FACTS ABOUT…KEVIN THORNTON

Kevin Thornton
Kevin Thornton

Kevin lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the town that burned down in 2016. It wasn’t his fault. After travelling the world, working as a contractor for the Canadian military and being a soldier in Africa, he settled down to become a dad, editor and author.

Kevin is a multi-talented author whose work ranges from poetry, crime fiction, young adult,  speculative fiction through to Sherlockiana. He has been a finalist in the Crime Writers of Canada awards at least seven times, and was honoured with the Literature ‘Buffy’ award in his hometown.


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

Kevin: They are disappointed at how respectable I appear.


The Mesdames of Mayhem: What unknown events in your life would astonish everyone?

Kevin: I once spent a weekend in jail in Apartheid South Africa. And I have been in terrorist bomb attacks on three continents and I was never injured once. Stick with me and you’ll be safe!

The Mesdames of Mayhem: This is amazing. You have to use these experiences in your writing!

Kevin: Haven’t yet, saving it for a rainy day.


The Mesdames of Mayhem: What other hair-raising experiences have you survived?

Kevin: I used to be a hell-raiser once. I once drank a Boeing 747 first class lounge bar dry with late great hockey player, Eddie Shack.

Follow Kevin’s blog at Blog: The Old Fort: Musings from the Oil Sands. And learn more about his incredible life and writing at Amazon.com Author page: Kevin P. Thornton.

PUBLICATIONS

Melodie Campbell’s Lands End Trilogy Book One: Rowena Through the Wall is now available on Audible!

When Rowena falls through her classroom wall and lands in an alternate world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped – not once, but twice, dammit – and the stakes get higher as the men get hotter. Unwanted husbands keep piling up, but that doesn’t stop her from falling for the wrong brother. Not only that, she has 18-year-old Kendra to look out for and a war to prevent. Good thing she has the ability to go back through the wall.

Lisa de Nikolits‘s The Rage Room is now available on Audible!

What if you made the worst mistake of your life and got the chance to fix it? Only you made it so much worse? From the incomparable crafter of nine cross-genre works of fiction, Lisa de Nikolits expands her horizons to pen a grab-you-by-the-throat, feminist speculative-fiction thriller in the style of Groundhog Day meets The Matrix.

Audible: https://www.audible.ca/pd/The-Rage-Room-Audiobook/B08YGXPLLY

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/audiobook/the-rage-room-1

The Colony DancersBook 5 of Caro Soles’ Merculian mystery series, is now available in ebook/kindle format. Print to follow.

All Merculian is excited about the visiting Colony Dancers. The children’s group is so cute in their old-fashioned outfits and few stop to question how they acquired their brilliant technique so young, or why they are all so carefully guarded.

Meanwhile, Investigator Marlo is tantalized by the strong resemblance of one of the young dancers to a child who was kidnapped long ago.

How far will the guardians go to keep the secrets of the Colony Dancers?

Sylvia Maultash Warsh

Congratulations to Sylvia Warsh! Sylvia’s story, “Family Values” has been accepted for the 2021 BOULD anthology. This flash-fiction story first appeared in Starship Goodwords, a cross-genre anthology published by Carrick Publishing in 2012.

She also has a short story, “The German Credit” appearing in What We Talk About When We Talk About It, Volume 2, a literary anthology published by Darkhouse Books. This story is also a reprint of one of her first stories she had published.

ONLINE WRITING COURSE

Melodie Campbell

Crafting a Novel, Sheridan College

Join award-winning and best-selling author Melodie Campbell for this online fiction writing bootcamp, that provides you with lots of individual attention. Learn how to create compelling plots and characters that readers care about. Get a good grounding in dialogue, viewpoint, motivation, show not tell, and what readers want. We also discuss the business side of writing, including how to get a publisher and the world of e-publishing. For the first time, all online, from your own home! 14 weeks, $302.98

Bloody Words Mini-Con and Bony Blithe Award

2021 BONY BLITHE MINI-CON AND AWARD GALA

A Message from Cheryl Freedman

As most of you have no doubt surmised, there will be no Bony Blithe mini-con and award gala on May 28, 2021. However, we have some contingency plans in place.

Plan A: We are looking at the possibility of having an event (mini-con, party, dinner, whatever) in Toronto sometime in October or November, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise…and enough of us are vaccinated. However, we will be limiting the number of attendees to comply with the almost-certain government regs on indoor gatherings.

Plan B: If Toronto has not opened up sufficiently by this fall for people to gather indoors, we will hold an event in spring 2022. Again, this all depends on vaccination numbers.

Happy Birthday to Us! Yes, 2021 is Bony Blithe’s 10th birthday, which means that whatever event we hold, no matter what kind of event or when, it will be something special (definitely involving a birthday cake and possibly sparklers).

The 2021 award shortlist will be announced online on Wednesday, April 14. We will post on FB and the BB Website and send out an email. The winner of the 2021 award will be announced, again online, on Friday, May 28 (the date of the now-cancelled mini-con). The 2021 and 2020 physical awards will be presented at the next face-to-face BB event.

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Best Bookshop Friend! R&L’s Book Nook, Alexandria, ON

An author’s best friends are bookstores and librarians who together link us to you, our readers. They introduce our novels and stories to people who would otherwise never learn about them. They alert our fans to our new works. And in the real world, they celebrate with us at our book launches and readings. No wonder they are our BBF’s – best friends forever!

Today marks the first in our series Best Bookshop Friends to tell the world about our favorite bookstores and why we love them.  A big thank you and hugs to Mme Melissa Yi for recommending her favorite bookstore, R & L’s Book Nook in Alexandria, Ontario. 

R&L's Book Nook

R&L’s Book Nook

INTERVIEW with R&L’s BOOK NOOK 

Cathy Dunphy

Cathy Dunphy, Interviewer

Melissa Yi’s book launches are never dull.  In 2014, a year when the Mesdames’ newest member launched two books in her Hope Sze medical crime series, she decided that she wanted more than just books at her launches. “Books and bodies,” she said. “Books and dancing.”

Besides writing crime fiction, Melissa is an emergency doctor as well as a yoga teacher and belly dancer. And so, with a friend, she decided to teach a little of both at the launch of her novella, Student Body.  At the Cornwall library, even the librarian was up and shaking her hips.

And at R&L’s Book Nook up the road in Alexandria, owners Roena Ryan and Loretta Shaver put a life-sized skeleton in their window for the launch. It was wearing scrubs. And it looked as if it was dancing. Yi was delighted.  She performed Weird Al’s “Word Crimes”, a satire of Robin Thicke’s “ Blurred Lines”. She danced.

“Everybody danced,” Roena  recalled.

She and her friend Loretta have been co-owners of the small shop on Alexandria’s Main Street for eight years.  She was a recently retired packaging operator and Loretta had worked at a transportation firm when they bought the struggling store.  The bookstore would have closed if they hadn’t.

Now it’s a hub for the community. Granted, it’s across the street from Gaetan’s Chip stand, famous in the area. And it backs onto a millpond, where they often kayak at the end of a business day. But along with homemade jams and knitting for sale, there are about 20,000 new and used books in stock.

“People think it’s a library,” Loretta said with a laugh.

The women make sure they promote local authors. There’s a special section for them along with space on a table near the cash. Customers trust them. Ask them what they should read.  And because they know their reading tastes, they know what to suggest.

Co-owners of R&L's Book Nook

Co-owners of R&L’s Book Nook: Loretta Shaver and Roena Ryan

Take Scorpion Scheme, Melissa Yi’s newest Hope Sze mystery. It’s on display right by the cash. Loretta thinks Anne Perry readers will like it. Or Michael Palmer, another medical writer. Maybe Robin Cook, Roena chimes in. No, no, they both decide almost simultaneously. It’s Patricia Cornwell.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR R&L BOOK NOOK:

Address: 58 Main St. South, Alexandria ON K0C 1A0 ; Website:  www.rlbooknook.ca ; Telephone:  613-525-9940

A little about Alexandria, ON: Population 2,845 (2016 census), the former town is now part of North Glengarry Township.  Alexandria has a truly bilingual town, half Francophone, half Anglophone.  Founded as a mill site after the War of 1812, by Father Alexander Macdonell, it lies midway on the Canadian National Railway between Montreal and Ottawa. For a time it prospered manufacturing carriages but today it primarily serves the local farming community.

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi is an emergency physician and an award-winning author of crime and speculative fiction. And in her spare time, she’s also a travel writer.  Her latest thriller, SCORPION SCHEME, launched in late fall, 2020. Her fiction has been recommended by The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, and The Next Chapter. http://www.melissayuaninnes.com/

 

 

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MESDAMES ON THE MOVE: MARCH 2021

Dear Readers, We’re Rolling Out New Features For You!

Cat playing with paper rollsAs winter recedes we wanted to bring you something new.  Every month this year we’ll open a window into two of our members’ thoughts and lives through  fun facts about them that you’d never guess! Then mid-month, we plan to have a member share with you a  favorite bookstore.

 

Of course, we’ll still have our usual books, news, reviews and events in our monthly and breaking news posts. We hope you will enjoy learning a bit more about our Mesdames and Messieurs

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT…LYNNE MURPHY

Lynne Murphy

Lynne Murphy

The Mesdames of Mayhem: What surprises people about you?

Lynne: They are appalled at how old I am.

The Mesdames of Mayhem: What would readers never guess about you?

Lynne: I am Facebook friends with the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team. I told someone I didn’t know how this happened and they said, “Well, you could always unfriend them.” I said, “Are you kidding? Those are big guys. You don’t want to make them mad.”

The Mesdames of Mayhem: How has this influenced your writing?

Lynne: I am a lifelong fan of the Roughriders and I love Saskatchewan.  I was born and raised there and it shows up in many of my stories.

The Mesdames of Mayhem: What are you working on now? Are the Roughriders part of it?

Lynne: The Roughriders are playing in the background at one point in the novella I am now working on. I think they are going to win!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO…TED CARRICK

Ted Carrick

Readers, friends and family of the Mesdames will remember Ted Carrick, the young musician who entertained the crowd at the launches of our anthologies. Most recently, In The Key of 13 at Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore.

 

Ted also composed and performs the musical score for the podcasts Dead to Writes and Story Stocking.

On Saturday, February 21st, 1 pm, Ted showcased his talent in a concert featuring music from his three albums, Experiment 33, Ideas and Explorations and The Spotting Session as well as short films by gifted fellow artists. One of the many highlights of the launch was the song, “damnsad” performed by Ted and Shian Grace.

Click on the image to the left to hear the song! And find Ted on YouTube here.

Access more of Ted’s music through the Apple Store, Spotify,  his website https://tedcarrickmusic.com or contact him at  tedcarrickmusic@gmail.com

Follow Ted on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TedCarrick ; Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ted_carrick; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008087537390

…AND TO LISA DE NIKOLITS

The Rage Room

Lisa‘s book The Rage Room was reviewed in SFcrowsnest.

“The Rage Room is for an adult readership and has underlying political messages. These include the dangers of over-reliance on AIs to sort our problems out, the devastating effects of hyper-consumerism and what can happen if there is a stratum of society that is pushed to one side. This novel follows in the footsteps of the likes of ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984’, but is applicable to our time.”

NEWS AND EVENTS

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken has been invited to give a Zoom presentation to Ottawa Independent Writers (OIW) on Tuesday, March 16. The topic is Writing a Crime Fiction Novel.

Since 1986, OIW has been supporting fiction and non-fiction writers in the National Capital Region with monthly presentations, workshops, networking, readings and retreats. It currently has more than 180 members.

For the past several years, it has also published anthologies of members’ short stories and poems.

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff will be the guest speaker at the next Sisters in Crime Toronto Zoom meeting on March 18th at 7 p.m. As an author of both crime and speculative fiction, she will be speaking about “When Art Imitates Life’– How do you draw from real life without turning your fiction into an autobiography?

This event is for Sisters in Crime Toronto Members only. Annual membership is $25 for monthly meetings and other benefits. For more information about membership, visit the  Toronto Sisters in Crime website.

INTERVIEWS

Lisa de Nikolits Podcast InterviewLisa de Nikolits is featured in The Bookshop Podcast. Lisa explains what it was like growing up in apartheid South Africa and her life as a magazine art director before becoming an author.  You can listen to her interview here: https://bit.ly/2NRrZEy

 

 

 

PUBLICATION NEWS

Madeleine Harris Callway

Madeleine Harris-Callway

Congratulations to Madeleine Harris-Callway! Madeleine’s story “The Moon God of Broadmoor”, will appear in Judy Penz Sheluk’s new anthology, Moonlight & Misadventure, to be published in June 2021.

https://www.judypenzsheluk.com/

 

 

REMINDERS AND OPPORTUNITIES!

 

When Words Collide

When Words Collide (WWC2021) once again will be a virtual conference running from  August 13 to 15, 2021. Attendance is free of charge, with no cap on the number of attendees, but it will require registration through Eventbrite.com. Registration is being set up and should be available shortly.

Robyn Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest

The Robyn Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest open to all attendees of WWC 2021. For submission details, follow this link: https://ipbcontest.weebly.com/  Deadline is May 1st.

FREE WRITING COURSE!

For emerging writers: Sam Wiebe, an award-winning Canadian crime writer and creative writing teacher, is offering his on-line class, Beginning Your Mystery, for free. For more details, check out the link: https://mysterywritingmastery.thinkific.com/courses/BYM

 

 

 

 

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Breaking News: Scorpion Scheme Now Available in Braille

Melissa Yi’s Scorpion Scheme Now is in Braille!

Scorpion Scheme iTranslated into BrailleBlind readers can now experience the mystery and suspense of Melissa Yi’s latest book, Scorpion Scheme. This is exciting news, too, for the Mesdames as Melissa breaks new ground in reaching out to readers of crime fiction.

This embossed (printed) copy is available throughout Canada via interlibrary loan. The library hosting Scorpion Scheme is Cochrane Public Library in Cochrane, Alberta.

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

 

 

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MESDAMES ON THE MOVE: February 2021

It’s February Already, Dear Readers!

February Valentine KittyAnd we’ve got a boxload of goodies being planned for the year. Besides our Blog Spotlight feature, we intend to add other ways for you to get to know our members and their writing better. And now that our membership has roots from Comox to Montreal, we want to share favourite bookstores in these locations. And that’s only the beginning. Stay tuned for more as the year progresses.

REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

The Rage RoomCongratulations to Lisa de Nikolits, dubbed “Queen of Canadian spec” fiction, in Off/Kilter’s stellar review of her latest book, The Rage Room.

 

 

 

 

Caro Soles was recently interviewed about her book Dancing with Chairs in the Music House on the program All About Books hosted by Crystal Fletcher.

In a separate video, you can also hear Caro read a passage from Dancing with  Chairs in the Music House on Crystal Fletcher’s program, All About Books.

 

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi (Melissa Yuan-Innes) was recently interviewed for the Glengarry News by Steve Warburton. She had a good time talking about her time at medical school, writing, her family, and the kindness of my neighbours. See more about Melissa’s interview on her Facebook page.

 

 

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCrackent

Rosemary McCracken was recently interviewed about her Pat Tierney Mystery Series and writing on Sharon Crawford’s blog.

Check out what Rosemary has to say about the genesis of the Pat Tierney series, the financial world and writing mysteries in Rosemary’s interview.

COMPETITIONS

CWA MARGERY ALLINGHAM SHORT MYSTERY COMPETITION

The international CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors from all over the world – and is for short stories of up to 3,500 words. All that is asked is that the story has not been previously published anywhere, or shortlisted for this competition.

Entries cost £12.

Closing date: 6pm GMT Friday 26 February 2021

THE AUDREY JESSUP SHORT STORY CONTEST

The Audrey Jessup Short Story Contest sponsored by the Capital Crime Writers is ONLY open to Ottawa and the National Capital Region residents as well as all members of Capital Crime Writers.

Only one submission per author.

Deadline for submission is Thursday April 1, 2021.

 

 

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2020 Wow What a Year – Part 2

Greetings, Readers!

Dog and Cat cuddling

Here as promised is the second part of our annual review for 2020.

Despite COVID – maybe because of it! – we accomplished a huge amount. Part 2 tells you about our publications and the recognition received by our Mesdames and Monsieurs!

 

New Members!

The Mesdames welcomed three new members this year, established award-winning writers Jayne Barnard, Therese Greenwood and Melissa Yi.  We are now 24 members strong and a national organization!

Jayne Barnard

Jayne Barnard

Therese Greenwood

Therese Greenwood

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

 

 

 

 

 

Awards and Recognitions!

Mesdames and Monsieurs were recognized by many awards and nominations in 2020.

CWC Awards of Excellence

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell, our Queen of Comedy’s hilarious, The Goddaughter Does Vegas (Orca Book Publishers) was a finalist in the CWC Awards of Excellence for Best Novella. 

She also signed on with the prestigious Transatlantic Agency!

 

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

The Occult PersuasionLisa De Nikolits‘ thriller The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution was long-listed for the Sunburst Award, Canada’s award for literary excellence in speculative fiction.

 

 

 

Therese Greenwood

Therese Greenwood

What You Take With YouTherese Greenwood  was awarded The Buffy , the  Alberta Arts Council Wood Buffalo Award of Excellence in literary arts. And her memoir about the Fort McMurray wildfire disaster, What You Take with You was a finalist for the Book Publishers Association of Alberta Award for Non-fiction, Biography and Memoir.

 

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

Malice Domestic’s anthology, Mystery Most Edible, won Bouchercon’s Anthony Award for Best Anthology. This entertaining collection contains our very own Rosemary McCracken ‘s cautionary tale, “Dining Out”!

 

 

 

Cat Mills

Cat Mills

Honorary Mme of Mayhem, Cat Mills,  had two of her amazing documentaries short-listed at the Yorkton Film Festival, North American’s longest-running film festival. Her uplifting and poignant, Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure and of course, our very own CBC documentary, The Mesdames of Mayhem.

 

 

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff

Nothing Without UsThe anthology, Nothing Without Us, was short-listed for an Aurora Award. The stories feature heroes whose disabilities are NOT the focus of the narrative.  Our very own, Madona Skaff’s story, “Backbone”, is part of this collection!

 

Caro Soles

Caro Soles

Caro Soles was appointed to the Executive Council of the International Crime Writers Association which sponsors the prestigious Hammett Award for literary excellence in crime fiction.

 

 

 

Sylvia Warsh

Sylvia Warsh

In the Key of 13Sylvia Warsh’s chilling story, “Sleep No More”, was a finalist for the prestigious Derringer Award. And it was part of the Mesdames anthology, In the Key of 13

 

 

Fabulous Publications!

Never mind that 2020 was Anno Horribilis, the Mesdames had nine novels published as well as their short fiction in several anthologies. Eighteen of us have stories in Carrick Publishing’s collection of medical thrillers, A Grave Diagnosis.  

Catherine Astolfo

A Grave Diagnosis Cover

Cathy Astolfo has created another scary tale, “The Backpack”, one of the 35 stories in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

 

 

Rosemary Aubert

Rosemary Aubert

A Grave Diagnosis CoverThe Light in TriesteRosemary Aubert, published her historical novel, The Light in Trieste, to many positive reviews. Her story, “Mercy”, is a timely tale in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

 

Jayne Barnard

Jayne Barnard

A Grave Diagnosis Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jayne Barnard’s fourth novel in the Lacey McCrae series, Why the Rock Falls, was published by Dundurn Press in November. Her classic mystery whodunnit, “A Midsummer’s Night Scream”, appeared in the Sisters in Crime West anthology, Crime Wave. And her story, “A Christmas Rose” appears in A Grave Diagnosis!

 

Jane Petersen Burfield

Jane Burfield

A Grave Diagnosis CoverJane Burfield has written a scary COVID tale, “Unmasked” in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

 

 

 

Madeleine Harris Callway

M. H. Callway

A Grave Diagnosis CoverM. H. Callway tried her hand at a speculative fiction crossover thriller, “The Eternal Bakery of the Fractal Mind” for A Grave Diagnosis.

In August, she completed 200 km in the first virtual Toronto Ride to Conquer Cancer.

 

 

 

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

The Italian CureA Grave Diagnosis CoverCrime Wave

 

 

 

 

 

Melodie Campbell, our Queen of Comedy, wrote the charming novella, The Italian Cure (Orca) and penned the very funny, “Two Crooks Walk into a Store” for A Grave Diagnosis. Turning to her dark side, she wrote the foreword for the Sisters in Crime West anthology, Crime Wave.

 

Donna Carrick

A Grave Diagnosis CoverDonna Carrick not only ran Carrick Publishing but also edited the 35 stories in A Grave Diagnosis and wrote the title story! 

And she ran and hosted the two popular podcasts, Dead to Writes and Story Stocking!

 

 

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

The Rage Room

A Grave Diagnosis CoverLisa de Nikolits’ tenth novel, The Rage Room, has been getting rave reviews. She runs two blogs promoting authors, Author Interviews on Goodreads and The Minerva Reader. Her story, “Love Thy Neighbour”, appears in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

Therese Greenwood

Therese Greenwood

A Grave Diagnosis CoverTherese Greenwood’s historical crime story, “Boomtown Shakedown” is one of the 35 stories in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Kay

Marilyn Kay

Marilyn Kay, together with Roz Place, kept the Mesdames and Monsieurs and our readers informed for all of 2020. Big thanks and hugs!

 

 

 

Blair Keetch

Blair Keetch

Dark and Stormy Book ClubA Grave Diagnosis Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blair Keetch had three short stories published in 2020. “Deadly Cargo” appeared in the anthology, Heartbreaks and Half-Truths (Superior Shores Press). “A Crunchy Kind of Death” was featured in the Dark and Story Bookclub’s newsletter.  And “Sleep, Perchance to Die” is one of the 35 medical thrillers in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

Uncharted WatersA Grave Diagnosis CoverRosemary McCracken had a busy year. Her short story, ” A Weekend in Lisdoonvarna” appeared in Kings River Life Magazine. She published, Uncharted Waters,  the fourth novel in her popular Pat Tierney financial mystery series receiving a warm review by Jack Batten of the Toronto Star.  In addition to writing “Hooked” for A Grave Diagnosis, she copy-edited the 35 stories in the collection. She was one of three Canadian guest bloggers on leading US mystery writer, Art Taylor’s website.

 

A Grave Diagnosis Cover

Lynne Murphy

Lynne Murphy

Lynne Murphy’s cautionary tale, “Woman Aglow” is published in A Grave Diagnosis.

She was one of three Canadian guest bloggers featured on leading US mystery writer, Art Taylor’s website.

 

 

Ed Piwowarczyk

Ed Piwowarczyk

A Grave Diagnosis CoverEd Piwowarczyk psychological thriller, “Danny and Me,” was published in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

 

 

 

Roz Place

A Grave Diagnosis CoverRoz Place’s crossover speculative fiction crime story, “Criminals Like Us” was published in A Grave Diagnosis.  

 

 

 

 

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff

Death by AssociationA Grave Diagnosis CoverMadona Skaff‘s second book in the Naya Assad series, Death by Association was published by Renaissance Press. Her story, “Crossmatch”,  is published in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

Caro Soles

Caro Soles

A Grave Diagnosis CoverDancing with Chairs in the Music HouseMarlo's Dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caro Soles had two novels published in 2020. The first, Marlo’s Dance, (Crossroad Press) is the fourth book in Merculian speculative fiction series. Her literary novel,  Dancing with the Chairs in the Music House, was published this fall by Inanna Publications. Her story, “Waiting in the Wings”, appears in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

Kevin Thornton

Beyond Sherlock Holmes

MX Sherlock Holmes Stories

A Grave Diagnosis Cover

 

 

 

 

Kevin Thornton had three stories published in 2020, two of them were new Sherlock Holmes adventures. “The Impossible Death of Cad” appeared in Beyond the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 3.  “The Dundas Separation Squad” was published in the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XXII.  His story, “Hypochondriacs Never Get This”, is part of the A Grave Diagnosis collection.

Sylvia Warsh

Sylvia Warsh

Bould Awards AnthologyA Grave Diagnosis Cover

Thirteen

 

Sylvia Warsh’s story, “The  Emerald Skull”, was chosen and reprinted in Barb Goffman Presents as one of her favorite crime stories ever! It was first published in our original anthology, Thirteen.  She was also one of three Canadian crime writers featured on US author, Art Taylor’s blog.

Her off-beat story, “Flamingo Nights” was chosen for the 2020 BOULD anthology, which collects bold and outrageous tales. Her thriller short story, “Days Without Name”, is featured in A Grave Diagnosis.

 

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

Scorpion Scheme

Our newest member, Melissa Yi, released her latest thriller, Scorpion Scheme, in the Dr. Hope Sze series, just last month. It’s already getting good reviews!

 

 

Readings and Events!

COVID brought an end to live events early in the year. Several Mesdames participated in the author reading event at the December 3rd Holiday Party hosted on Zoom by Toronto Sisters in Crime and the Crime Writers of Canada. Regular meetings moved onto Zoom after the lockdown and will stay digital for the foreseeable future.

Events at the Toronto Public Library were cancelled, but we look forward to going back to live events at the end of the pandemic. In the meantime, libraries have curbside pick-ups. An author’s best friend is indeed a librarian!


Noir at the Bar continues to be a Toronto tradition and has now moved online.

Lisa De Nikolits was a featured author in October. Thanks to Rob Brunet and Hope Thompson for their support of Canadian crime writers!

 

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MESDAMES ON THE MOVE: January 2021

Welcome to New Beginnings, Dear Readers!

New Year Kitten

As our Mesdames and Messieurs continue to write and make plans for 2021, good news from last year keeps popping up.

This issue kicks off with the January 2021 issue of  The Big Thrill highlighting an interview with Lisa de Nikolits about her latest book. The Rage Room.

There’s also a terrific interview with Rosemary McCracken on the ThatChannel.com’s Crime Scene Confidential hosted by Sharon Crawford. And lots more kudos and review links to books by our authors to tempt your fancy.

INTERVIEWS

The Rage Room

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits‘ latest cross-genre book The Rage Room gets thrilling treatment in her interview with The Big Thrill.

Read Lisa’s Big Thrill Interview.

Crime Beat Confidential

Sharon’s wide-ranging interview on Crime Beat Confidential with Rosemary McCracken covered topics such as the sticky topic of book reviews, Rosemary’s short story writing, her popular Pat Tierney series—the latest book being Uncharted Waters—and a discussion of plot structure for novels (Rosemary teaches Novel Writing II at George Brown College, Toronto).

KUDOS

Why the Rock Falls

Jayne Barnard

Jayne Barnard

Why the Rock Falls

Why the Rock Falls by J.E. Barnard was reviewed by Anne Logan on CBC Calgary:  “Barnard’s use of red herrings is also impressive; the related storylines and minor characters all served to distract me from focusing on who the real perpetrator was because I got caught up in the drama of the storyline.”

As of January 5, 2021, Why the Rock Falls audiobook is available on Amazon.

The Rage Room

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

The Rage Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews for The Rage Room by Lisa de Nikolits

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54637410-the-rage-room

Miramichi Reader:
https://miramichireader.ca/2020/12/the-rage-room-by-lisa-de-nikolits/

Dr. Donna M. Decker – January 15, 2021:
https://www.inanna.ca/product/rage-room/#reviews

Jamieson Wolf’s Best Books of 2020

Both Madona Skaff-Koren and Melissa Yi’s books feature on novelist Jamieson Wolf’s Best Books of 2020.

Death by Association

“This book is a thrilling whodunnit of the highest order. The pages flipped by quickly for me and I was desperate to figure out the mystery. Thankfully Skaff-Koren’s writing is so good that every guess I had about the who did what and why was wrong. I love when that happens! I love the minutiae that Skaff-Koren works into the novel. Every small detail is full of red herrings and the plot is full of twists and turns. Madona’s power is in her characters and the strength of her storytelling. Naya is a diverse and amazing character and she propels the story along as you are drawn along with her to discover everything right alongside her.”

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff

Death by Association

Scorpion Scheme

“Scorpion Scheme was flat out incredible. Set against the sands of Egypt, Dr. Hope Sze and her fiancé Dr. John Tucker go to Egypt and hope to see the sights, but they are drawn into a fight for their lives and a mysterious treasure. I loved this book so much! I was drawn into Hope’s adventure and taken on a thrill ride that came to an explosive conclusion. This is a fantastic book and really made me take a deeper look into the idea of justice, what is right and what is wrong. I loved every minute and every page. It’s a thrilling whodunnit that had me stumped until the end. Egypt came alive in this book. What a privilege to read it!”

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

Scorpion Scheme

Dancing with Chairs in the Music House

Caro Soles‘s book is an extraordinary piece of fiction. Haunting, and highly evocative, it deserves to find its place in the pantheon of the best of Canadian Literature.”—Maureen Jennngs, Award-winning author of the Murdoch Mysteries and several other series.

“Intimate, evocative and memorable, Caro Soles’s Dancing with Chairs in the Music House holds the reader spellbound from its opening sentence—It’s 1949, a brand new year, and we’re moving. Again.—to its heart-stopping conclusion.—Gail Bowen— award-winning author of the Joanne Kilbourne Series

“Quirky, funny and haunting.”–Linwood Barclay, NYT bestselling author

Caro Soles

Caro Soles

Dancing with Chairs in the Music House

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2020: WOW WHAT A YEAR – Part One!

Happy Much Better New Year Readers!

Anno horribilis, AKA 2020, started out with the Mesdames’ normal busy schedule of book promotions, conferences and teaching. Then wham – COVID hit!

Left Coast Crime San Diego ended after only half a day and the cancellations kept on coming: Bloody Words Minicon, CWC’s Annual Awards Banquet,  Limestone Expo, Word on the Street,  Bouchercon…

But the Mesdames proved unstoppable! We took to social media like a hurricane. We attended conferences, taught classes and in the fall pulled off a stellar book launch marathon – all on Zoom!

Despite the challenging business environment, Carrick Publishing brought out a fabulous new crime fiction anthology, A Grave Diagnosis, featuring stories by 18 of us.  And the Mesdames had several new books and short stories published as well as nominations for leading awards.

Best of all, we continued to grow, welcoming three new members to make us a national organization of 24 crime fiction authors.  This year, we celebrate our 8th anniversary!

Happy New Brighter and Healthier  Year,  dear Readers. And on to more adventures in cyberspace and to creating the books and stories you love!

Note: Thanks to COVID, we accomplished so much this year that WoW What a Year will be in two parts. 

 

 A New Anthology by Carrick Publishing!

A Grave Diagnosis Cover

Amazing publisher and editor, Donna Carrick,  decided to do a medical mystery anthology after M. H. Callway shared her public health experiences over lunch. Thus was A Grave Diagnosis born – well before COVID  struck! 

Donna has dedicated AGD  to our hero frontline health care workers who continue to care for those stricken with this horrible virus, despite months of exhaustion and dangers to their own health, families and loved ones.  

AGD includes 35 stories of medically themed murder or malaise from all over the world.

The 18 Mesdames and Messieurs whose stories appear in AGD, owe Donna a huge debt of thanks for bringing out this book under such challenging times!

Donna Carrick

 

AGD launched on Zoom appropriately on Halloween, Saturday, October  31st.  Marion Misters, co-owner of our favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street was our special guest.

The talented Sara Carrick, the designer of our logo and all our anthology book covers, created AGD’s sinister cover. And if you look behind the mask, you’ll spy her in person!

AGD is available in print and on Kindle on Amazon.ca and on order from  Sleuth of Baker Street. Looking forward, too,  to seeing it on the shelves of the Toronto Public Library before too long.

Zoom! Zoom!

Mesdames Book Launch Marathon a Terrific Success!

This fall, we held our first Book Launch Marathon on Zoom, gathering audiences from all over Canada, the USA and as far away as South Africa!

Rosemary McCracken went first on Saturday, October 3rd, launching her new Pat Tierney financial thriller, Uncharted Waters.  Her launch proved so successful that she and  M. H. Callway have a seminar ready to share on How to Have a Successful Zoom Book Launch.

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

Caro Soles

Caro Soles

Madona Skaff

Rosemary Aubert

Rosemary Aubert

 

Caro Soles launched her speculative fiction novel, Marlo’s Dance on October 21st, Madona Skaff, our Zoom pioneer, launched her new mystery, Death by Association on November 7th. On November 21st, Rosemary Aubert celebrated her historical novel, The Light in Trieste, together with new writer,  Blair Keetch, whose latest story appeared in the crime fiction anthology, Heartbreaks and Half-truths.

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

Blair Keetch

Blair Keetch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa de Nikolits, Caro Soles and new member, Melissa Yi, wound up the series with their smashing tri-author event on November 28th with their latest books: The Rage Room, Dancing with Chairs in the Music House and Scorpion Scheme.

BONUS: All our Zoom events were recorded. Look to see them featured on an upcoming Dead to Writes podcast.

Podcasting: Dead to Writes

Dead to Writes, the Video Podcast

Donna Carrick continued Season 3 of her Dead to Writes podcast into 2020 – a total of 23 interviews!  She then opened her new series, Season 4 for 15 more interviews.

Dead to Writes showcases leading Canadian crime writers, including Maureen Jennings, Rick Mofina and Cathy Ace – and of course, the Mmes of Mayhem.

Get to know the following Mmes and Messrs and the stories behind their publications, by subscribing to DtW: Cathy Astolfo, Jane Burfield, M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell, Lisa de Nikolits, Marilyn Kay, Blair Keetch,  Rosemary McCracken and Madona Skaff.  

In conjunction with Dead to Writes,  tune in to Story Stocking to listen to the podcast of stories from the Mmes fourth anthology, In the Key of 13. In the Key of 13

 Zoom Conferences!

Renaissance Press

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff was our Zoom conference trailblazer. Her publisher, Renaissance Press, hosted two conferences in 2020, the first June 5th to 7th and the second, October 24 to 25th.  Madona participated on several panels and experimented selling her new book, Death by Association, in a virtual bookstore.

 

When Words Collide Welcomes the Mmes!

When Words Collide, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is a multi-genre conference held every year in Calgary, Alberta.  Normally, WWC attracts 800+ participants every year and many of us were planning to attend, but COVID intervened. That’s when WWC went on Zoom!

Jayne Barnard

Jayne Barnard

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

Ten Mmes took part on several panels held from Friday, August 11th to Sunday, August 13th. One of our fab new members, Jayne Barnardwho’s published in speculative fiction, young adult and crime fiction, participated in the following panels: The Heroine’s Journey, Diversity in Speculative Fiction, From the Mean Streets to the Deadly Wilderness and, with Melodie CampbellPlot vs Character in Crime Fiction.  Melodie, too, writes in all three genres!

Madeleine Harris Callway

M. H. Callway

M. H. Callway moderated two panels showcasing the Mesdames: Meet the Mesdames of Mayhem, with Donna Carrick, Rosemary McCracken and Madona Skaff and  The Long and Short of Crime, with Jane Burfield, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy and Caro Soles.  And Lisa de Nikolits and Caro whose works are often described as cross-genre, discussed, Can Crossover Fit the Crime.

And we learned all about Zoom’s break-out rooms at the “Pool Patio”, a great way to connect with new authors.

Lynne Murphy

Lynne Murphy

Jane Petersen Burfield

Jane Petersen Burfield

WWC has also made available recordings of the panels on YouTube. Check these on the YouTube When Words Collide channel.

 

 

 

Bloody Words Minicon 

Cheryl Freedman

Cheryl Freedman took on COVID and though the Minicon had to be postponed, kept the Bony Blithe contest going. The Minicon is rescheduled for May 28, 2021 — fingers crossed.

This year’s winner of the Bony Blithe Award was Liz Freeland for her novel, Murder in Midtown.

Social Media

Lisa de Nikolits

Lisa de Nikolits featured several exciting authors on her Goodreads blog, Interview with an Author.

She also resumed her The Minerva Reader blog where she promotes undiscovered Canadian authors readers should know more about.

 

Several of our Mesdames are fab and committed bloggers. In 2020, M.H. Callway created our new and ongoing feature, Blog Spotlight, where she interviews a Madame or Monsieur and the story behind their successful blog. In 2020, Madeleine interviewed Lisa de Nikolits, Rosemary McCracken (Moving Target) and Melodie Campbell (Bad Girl Blog).

That’s the end of Part One, dear Readers, but before we sign off a huge THANK YOU, to our newsletter editors, Marilyn Kay and Roz Placefor all their hard work keeping us up to date.

Marilyn Kay

Marilyn Kay

Roz Place

Roz Place

LOOKING FORWARD TO MANY MORE ADVENTURES IN 2021!

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Breaking News! Melissa Yi’s January 6th Bookbub Deal

Don’t miss Bookbub’s January 6th Featured Deal. Mme Melissa Yi’s book Terminally Ill will be on sale for just 99 cents!

Terminally Ill

Houdini Meets Murder

Magic? Dr. Hope Sze steers clear of magic.

But when “Elvis the Escape King” chains and nails himself inside a coffin in Montreal’s St. Lawrence River, he can’t break free.

Soon after Hope restarts his heart and saves his life, Elvis demands to know who sabotaged his stunt.

And so Hope plunges into her most unconventional and most terminal adventure yet. Where the magical art of escape and the dastardly art of crime vie for centre stage, and the better man may lose. Forever.

Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi

Get Terminally Ill

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2020 Year-End Round-Up of Books

Dear Readers,

Cats and reading

There’s nothing like a good book to transport your imagination to new worlds, meet fascinating characters and broaden your horizons. So this holiday season, give the gift of books. And while you’re at it,  immerse yourself in the wonderful stories and books written by our own Mesdames and Messieurs of Mayhem

BOOKS

Dancing with Chairs in the Music House

Death by Association

Marlo's Dance

The Italian Cure

The Light in Trieste

The Rage Room

Uncharted Waters

What You Take With You

Why the Rock Falls

Scorpion Scheme

ANTHOLOGIES

Bould Awards Anthology

Crime Wave

Heartbreaks and Halr-truths

Mystery Most Edible

Beyond Sherlock Holmes

MX Sherlock Holmes Stories

 

 

 

 

 

AND DON’T FORGET THESE ANTHOLOGIES

A Grave Diagnosis Cover

 

Thirteen

13 O'Clock

13 Claws AnthologyIn the Key of 13

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