Saturday, March 2, 2024

SMFS Member Guest Post: Luck of Shadows by Cheryl Phipps


Please welcome our fellow member, Cheryl Phipps, to the blog today. Her short story, Luck of Shadows, appears in the cozy mystery anthology, The Luck of the Irish: A Cozy Mystery Anthology, scheduled to be released March 16th. 


I’ve been writing short stories for as long as I can remember, with a break when I got married and had my 3 children. Working and raising a family while working, pushed time constraints, but I always had a story to tell at bedtime!


In 2001, the founder of RWNZ (Romance Writers of New Zealand) did a talk at my local library and I was hooked on writing more as well as having them published. While I write cozy mysteries alongside contemporary romance and Women’s Fiction novels these days, I still add in novellas or short stories when I can. Not only are they a change of pace and often a challenge, but they can also be repurposed down the track. For instance, I just wrote a cozy mystery for a charity anthology and fully intend in a year or so to make it into a series of novellas. Write what you love, and the length doesn’t matter! (Unless you enter a competition! 😉)


About my story:

All my cozy mysteries are classic whodunnits. They are clean, with the emphasis on solving a crime. I love that my heroines care for their small-town communities as well as being somewhat feisty. They never take no for an answer! 

In Luck of Shadows, through compassion and empathy Patience O’Reilly helps people to realize the biggest item on their bucket list while investigating the crime that invariably turns up. 


Cheryl Phipps ©2024 

Cheryl Phipps is a USA Today Bestselling author of cozy mysteries and contemporary romance with over 45 works published. Hailing from a small town in beautiful New Zealand, she loves everything bookish and is devoted to her family, friends, and one delightful, if rascally, pooch. Weaving stories that celebrate love, family, and resilience, as well as delivering a heart-racing, happy ending, with a sprinkle of humor–or complex mystery, she couldn’t imagine a different career. She also co-hosts a free popular podcast for self-published authors of all levels called the

Friday, March 1, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Cotton Jenny's Foot Smile Ale House by John Weagly

SMFS list member John Weagly’s short story, Cotton Jenny's Foot Smile Ale House, appears in the book, SUNDOWN: A Gordon Lightfoot Anthology. Published by Cowboy Jamboree Press and Leftover Books in early February, the read is available at Amazon and other vendors.


Amazon Description:

Cowboy Jamboree Press and LEFTOVER Books are proud to present this joint anthology as part of a continuing series inspired, influenced and incited by our country and folk musical heroes. The writing in Sundown is tinged by Gordon Lightfoot's life and lyrics in some way. Herein are nine writers that create an anthological soundtrack that can go next to your Lightfoot records, on your music books shelf or slot nicely into your grit lit collection. Featuring Stephen Pierce, John Weagly, Steve Novak, Mark Rogers, Derek R. Smith, Karl Koweski, Anthony Neil Smith, Patrick Trotti, and Adam Van Winkle.

Cowboy Jamboree Press

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Pros and Cons of Time Travel by James Blakey


SMFS list member James Blakey’s short story, The Pros and Cons of Time Travel, is published at Stupefying Stories. The read is available online and is a free read here.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Anna Karenina Isn't Dead: The Rewritten Lives of Literary Legends

Today is publication day for the anthology, Anna Karenina Isn't Dead: The Rewritten Lives of Literary Legends. Published by Improbable Press, the read is available at Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS list members that reported being in it are:



Stephen D. Rogers with "Greater Expectations."


Joseph Walker with "Unintended."


Publisher Website Description:

Welcome to the rewritten lives of
thirty-two literary legends

From Russia's Anna Karenina to Vietnam's Lady Trieu, from Cio-Cio-San to Frankenstein's second creature, suffering, madness, or death is the fate of far too many women in classic literature. Anna Karenina Isn't Dead undoes that.

In this anthology of literary women, these women live. Do they have a happily ever after? You'll see. Do they have a happy-right-now? Oh yes.

These are the reimagined tales of the famous, the infamous, the barely mentioned women in myths, poems, and legends. These are the stories of the Lady in Black, Wendy Darling, Dido, and many more, each getting a better journey than the one she originally got.

Here Anna Karenina and her literary kin are not dead. Very far from it.

Anna Karenina Isn't Dead, edited by Atlin Merrick, with magnificent cover artwork by Claudia Caranfa contains tales by:

Ali Coyle (The Magician's Children)
Ann S Epstein (Snappily Ever After)
Aparna Kapur (My Gratitude Journal)
Ari Ochoa Contreras (A Heart Of Stained Glass)
Béatrice De Charmoy (Lilac)
Ceallach Stevens (This Pyre Isn't Big Enough For The Two Of Us)
Christina Ladd (Lady Godiva In The Garden)
Dana M. Evans (Annabelle Lee Escaped The Sea)
Dannye Chase (Love Knot)
George Ivanoff (My Last Duke)
Jack Fennell (The Leopard Queen)
Jesse Friend (There Was An Old Woman)
J.M. Cyrus (A Call To Arms)
Jonathan Titchenal (Her Holiness)
Joseph S. Walker (Unintended)
Kenzie Lappin (And Wendy)
Lena Ng (Made For A Monster)
Melissa Coffey (The Price For Fire)
Miranda Jubb (Beyond The Wall(Paper))
Narrelle M Harris (Metamorphosis)
Nelly Shulman (Madame)
Nhu Le (Three Make A Tiger)
Patsy Pratt-Herzog (Sweet Everything's)
Sadie Fox Curtis (Helen Highwater)
Samir Sirk Morató (Gorgoneion Knot)
Sheryl Clough (Limits Of Perfection—Remembering Mrs. Cleaver)
SM Lawson (Dancing By The Red Sea)
Stacy Bierlein (The Story Of A Future)
Stephen D. Rogers (Greater Expectations)
Tansy Rayner Roberts (Cassandra Gets A Future)
Yvonne Knop (To The Editor Of The Strand Magazine)
Zachary Rosenberg (That Which Yields)

978-1-922904-69-0 (paperback)
978-1-922904-70-6 (ebook)
978-1-922904-68-3 (hardbacks available through online sellers)


Monday, February 26, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Underpass by Robert Lopresti


SMFS list member Robert Lopresti’s short story, Underpass, is published in Black Cat Weekly #130. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Website Description:

This issue has a pretty much everything you could possibly want from a mystery and science fiction magazine (and some things you probably never thought you wanted!)—detectives, neanderthals, a professional taster, starships, a body in an underpass, dinosaurs, World War II soldiers, aliens with tentacles, musicians, time travel—and so much more!

   As always, thanks to our Acquiring Editors, Barb Goffman and Michael Bracken, for help in finding great stories.

   Here’s the complete lineup—


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “Underpass,” by Robert Lopresti [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “Who Took the Tsarina’s Pearls?” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “Curse of the Supertaster,” by Leslie Karst [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “The House on the Cliff,” by Hal Meredith [short story, Sexton Blake series]
  • Suspicion Aroused, by Dick Donovan [short story collection]
  • “The 13th Juror,” by Leslie Waltham [short story]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “The Luck of Ignatz,” by Lester del Rey [short story]
  • “The 13th Juror,” by Leslie Waltham [short story]
  • “Iteration,” by C.M. Kornbluth [short story]
  • “Rhythm Rides the Rocket,” by Bob Olsen [novelet]
  • “Blitzkrieg in the Past,” by John York Cabot [novella]

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Friday, February 23, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Hoosier Noir, Volume Six

SMFS list members have short stories in Hoosier Noir, Volume Six. The read is available at Amazon. The SMFS list members that reported being in it are:



Shari Held with "Finders Keepers."


Larry Sweazy with “Billy Moon.”



Amazon Description:

The sixth volume of Hoosier Noir includes crime fiction stories from the past and present of Indiana. With stories of people swept in things affecting the world at large, or just trying to get through the day, the volume features some of the literary talent coming out of the heartland. While Indiana may get overlooked in the national news nowadays, this collection is not one to be missed!

Featuring work from Larry D. Sweazy, Shari Held, Robb White, Charlie Kondek, Travis Wade Beaty, Joel Nedecky, and Brian Beatty.