Monday 28 April 2014

THE GODDAUGHTER takes the stage at NIGHT OUT WITH AUTHORS at the Tranzac in Toronto!

NIGHT OUT WITH AUTHORS tonight at the Tranzac on Brunswick in Toronto! 

THE GODDAUGHTER leaves The Hammer to take the stage in TO!

Melodie Campbell, Lynda Simmons and Lisa de Nikolitis rock the main stage. 
Open mic for the second act. 
Hope to see many Mesdames of Mayhem there (guys are welcome too.)

Friday 25 April 2014

THE GODDAUGHTER'S REVENGE is a Finalist for the ARTHUR ELLIS AWARDS for Excellence in Crime Writing!

Nico is rubbing his hands together in glee!  THE GODDAUGHTER'S REVENGE is a finalist for the ARTHUR!

Here are the all the finalists in every category.  All will be revealed at the Arthur Ellis Gala at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto, on June 5.  Check the CWC website for details (

 Best Novel
 John Brooke, Walls of a Mind, Signature Editions
Seán Haldane, The Devil’s Making, Stone Flower Press
Lee Lamothe, Presto Variations, Dundurn
Howard Shrier, Miss Montreal, Vintage Canada
Simone St. James, An Inquiry into Love and Death, Penguin Books

Best First Novel
E.R. Brown, Almost Criminal, Dundurn
A.S.A. Harrison, The Silent Wife, Penguin Books Canada
Axel Howerton, Hot Sinatra, Evolved Publishing
J. Kent Messum, Bait, Penguin Canada
S.G. Wong, Die on Your Feet, Carina Press

Best Novella
Melodie Campbell, The Goddaughter’s Revenge, Orca Books
Brenda Chapman, My Sister’s Keeper, Grassroots Press
James Heneghan, A Woman Scorned, Orca Books

Best Short Story
Donna Carrick, Watermelon Weekend, Thirteen,
Carrick Publishing
Jas. R. Petrin, Under Cap Ste. Claire, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, October 2013,
Dell Magazines
Twist Phelan, Footprints in Water, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July 2013,
Dell Magazines
Sylvia Maultash Warsh, The Emerald Skull, Thirteen,
Carrick Publishing  
Sam Wiebe, The Third Echo, Girl Trouble: Malfeasance Occasional,
MacMillan/St Martin’s Press

Best Book in French
Chrystine Brouillet, Saccages, La courte échelle
Jacques Côté, Et à l'heure de votre mort, éditions Alire
Maureen Martineau, L’enfant promis, La courte échelle
Jacques Savoie, Le fils emprunté, Éditions Libre Expression

Best Juvenile/YA
 Karen Autio, Sabotage, Sono Nis Press
Gail Gallant, Apparition, Doubleday Canada
Elizabeth MacLeod, Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries,
Annick Press
Ted Staunton, Who I’m Not, Orca Books

Unhanged Arthur
L.J. Gordon, Death at the Iron House Lodge
Rachel Greenaway, Cold Girl
Charlotte Morganti, The Snow Job
Kristina Stanley, Descent
Kevin Thornton, Coiled

Thursday 24 April 2014

Repeated by Request! IN THE WRITING to write books with a kid attached to your leg

In honour of the Arthur Ellis Awards shortlists being released tonight, a good friend asked that this post be repeated.  In other words, how the heck do we actually find time to write the stuff that is up for awards tonight?
My tricks...

By Melodie Campbell

Okay, these are not the definitive rules for Writer-Moms. I would never claim to be an expert.  But I did raise two kids while writing stand-up on the side and penning a syndicated humour column every two weeks. So I learned a few things about survival along the way.

Bad Girl’s Tricks for Writing with Kids:
P    1.  Probably you shouldn’t lock yourself in the bathroom, so the kids can’t get at you. Equally, you shouldn’t sit in the playpen with your kid on the outside, screaming and shaking the thing.  Okay, at least not more than once a day.

2    2.  Never put a package of Twinkies in front of a toddler so that you can continue to write. (Remove them all from the plastic wrappers first so the kid doesn’t choke.)

3   3.  A kid won’t die if they drink half a mug of cold coffee.  But watch the wine. In fact, you might want to finish the rest of the bottle right now, just to be safe.

4   4.  Breast-feeding can be a real timesaver, but not during Bouchercon book-signings.

5   5.  Other kid’s birthday parties are a great thing for a writer. But you really should pick up your own kid when they’re over. (Eventually. Before winter.)

6   6.  It’s okay to get someone to babysit your kids while you move into a new house. But it’s not okay to forget to tell anyone where that house is.

7   7.  When your kid leaves home for university, it is not recommended to immediately change their room into a study or writing room. Wait until after Christmas. The sales are better.

Re “Leaving the nest”: Every mother gets emotional about this. But probably you shouldn’t do it until your kids are grown up.

The Opening to THE GODDAUGHTER’S REVENGE (Orca Books)
Chapter 1
Okay, I admit it. I would rather be the proud possessor of a rare gemstone than a lakefront condo with parking. Yes, I know this makes me weird. Young women today are supposed to crave the security of owning their own home.
 But I say, real estate, shmeel estate. You can’t hold an address in your hand. It doesn’t flash and sparkle with the intensity of a thousand night stars. It will never lure you away from the straight and narrow like a siren from some Greek odyssey.
Let’s face it. Nobody has ever gone to jail for smuggling a one bedroom plus den out of the country.
 However, make that a ten-carat cyan blue topaz with a past as long as your arm, and I’d do almost anything to possess it.
 But don’t tell the police.

The Goddaughter’s Revenge, winner of the 2014 Derringer, is available at Chapters/Indigo stores, Barnes&Noble, and online retailers everywhere.

Thursday 17 April 2014

MONEY LAUNDERING AND TAXES...reprinted by request...for all my former banker friends...

I am starting to gather stuff for doing my taxes, and it made me think about how great things were in the good ole days. 

Remember how simple life used to be?  Someone would mail you a little carbon slip to let you know how much money you made.  All you had to do – as a law-abiding citizen – was run your finger along a line in the tax guide, and you’d know how much tax you had to pay.  You’d write a cheque for that amount, then go drink yourself blind or shoot yourself in the head, whichever was most expedient.  Things were simple back then.

Now, figuring out your taxes is a profession in itself.  Actually, it’s several professions; taxes now have their own accountants and their own lawyers, lucky little things.  Soon they may have their own psychiatrists…

Which brings me to banking (another insane institution.)  I remember when you’d take your paycheck and give it to the bank for a little while.  Then you’d go back a few weeks later to take out cash for certain life essentials like beer.  All the money would still be there plus some extra cash which you’d made on your money, called interest.  Things have changed radically since then.  Interest is passé.  Sort of like digital watches.

Now when you put your money in the bank (which of course you don’t…you put it in a cute little automatic teller machine where it mixes with everyone else’s packets of money in terribly amoral ways) – but back to the point.  The point is, that when you go back to draw it out again, you find there’s less than what you deposited.  Most of your money is there, but so is something else called a Service Charge.

I must admit I’m baffled by this need for a service charge.  I mean, exactly what services did these people feel it necessary to perform for my money?  Did they take it on field trips?  Give it a shampoo and set?  Have it drycleaned, and botoxed to iron out the wrinkles?

Frankly, I’m getting fed up.  If they’re going to take my money out on the town and show it a good time, the least they can do is teach it how to reproduce…

Melodie Campbell writes the comic mob caper series, The Goddaughter.  You can buy her paperbacks and ebooks at Chapters, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble.

Sunday 13 April 2014

Reviewers Rock! Many thanks, again...another 5 Star Review of ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD

*****Rowena Rocks, April 7, 2014
The Kindle Book Review (Indianapolis, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rowena and the Dark Lord (Land's End) (Kindle Edition)

What happens when a twenty-first century woman moves "through the wall" to the early middle ages? What happens when she returns to Arizona with two knights in tow? When they do a medieval fair? When a suitor comes for her and takes her back through the wall, back in time where three men want to win her hand, one of whom is the father of the child she is carrying?

This is the second in the Lands End series. Although I had not read the first book in the series, the author provided enough background information for me to understand what was happening and to thoroughly enjoy the book. She did this in such a way that she was not obviously helping new readers to catch up with the story. If you write a sequel, this is the way to do it!

The writing style was very conversational. I almost had the feeling that Rowena was standing next to me, actually talking to me, telling me the story. It was a very effective way to present the story, and I truly enjoyed it.

The book is well-written and easy to read. The time travel and the magic are believable. The story moved rapidly and was quite enjoyable. I look forward to the next book in the series!

David Burnett for The Kindle Book Review

Friday 11 April 2014

Boys and their Bad Girl...Reprinted with permission

The Difference Between Men and Boys…is the size of their toys

Something weird happened the other day.  The trend actually started soon after our last kid left home for good.  My husband of 35 years came home with a remote control toy car.

Not a dinkie car.  Nope.  This was something more the size of a small tabletop.  It also cost as much as a dining room table.

This rather baffled me.  I mean, I know young boys love toy cars when they are too young to be drivers.  It’s part of the dream of ‘when I grow up, I’m going to drive a…’

But what motivates a grown man to play with toy replicas when he actually owns the real thing?
I set out to find out.

“’Splain it to me, Lucy” I say to DH (DH is social media slang for ‘dear husband,’ if you want a translation.  Also, I am told, ‘dumb husband,’ in some circles. Take your pick.)  “You have a Porsche for your regular drive, and a Corvette in the garage for summer.  I’m sanguine about this, because it is branded on my brain, the marriage vow you quickly edited before the wedding:  “Do you promise to love, honour, and allow your guy to spend much of your worldly income on exotic automobiles….”

“I have the best wife,” he says smugly.

I agree with him.  But that doesn’t answer my question.  “WHY would you want a toy car?”

He looks blank.  “Toys are fun.  Besides, this one can go 50 miles per hour.”

And the ones in the garage can only go 200.  Things were not getting clearer.  But I am persistent.

“Is this like the remote control boat from last summer?”

To explain:  DH is a gear-head and speed demon.  He has a 28 foot sport-cruiser called Wee Dram, in which to race around Lake Ontario.  It’s kept at the marina that is 8 minutes from our house.  He also has a wienie little remote control toy boat, which he keeps at the real boat. 

He nods.  “Just like it.  Love that baby.  I race it around Wee Dram.  I’m thinking of calling it ‘Little
Snort.’  What do you think?”

I’m thinking everyone at the marina will be figuring we have a drinking problem.  But now it’s dawning on me.  The word ‘baby’ twigged it.

All his real vehicles now have little remote vehicles to keep them company.  They have – wait for it – their own children!

No question…I’m going to have to get the kids to visit home more often.

Melodie Campbell writes funny books, like The Goddaughter’s Revenge, winner of the Derringer Award.  You can buy them at Chapters and at online retailers everywhere.

Tuesday 1 April 2014


Many thanks to the SMFS for this wonderful award!

THE GODDAUGHTER'S REVENGE is available in stores at Chapters/Indigo, Barnes&Noble
and online at Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes&Noble, Walmart, Kobo, Nook, Itunes, and more.