Wednesday, February 28, 2018

SMFS Members Published in Black Cat Mystery Magazine: Issue Two

Several SMFS members are published in Black Cat Mystery Magazine: Issue Two and are listed by name on the cover. Those members are:

Michael Bracken with “Skirts.”

John Floyd with “Two In The Bush.”

Deborah H. Goldstein with “A Weighty Matter.”

John Hegenberger with “The Bad Sleep.”

Steve Shrott with “Buried Secrets.”

BK Stevens with “Things Past.”

Elizabeth Zelvin with “A Disturbance in the Harem.”

SMFS Members Published In Alfred Hitchock Mystery Magazine: March/April 2018

Four SMFS members have reported that they are published in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: March/April 2018 edition.  Those members are:

Michael Bracken and the short story, “The Mourning Man.” In addition to being published, Michael Bracken is also listed by name on the cover.

Dara Carr and the short story, “Off-Off-Off Broadway.” Dara reports that this is her first story in AHMM.

R. T. Lawton and the short story, “The Left Hand of Leonard.” In addition to being published, R. T. Lawton is also listed by name on the cover.

Robert Lopresti and the short story, “Nobody Gets Killed.”

SleuthSayers: Rejected! by Michael Bracken

SleuthSayers: Rejected!: by Michael Bracken I have every rejection I’ve ever received. All 2,552 of them. When I began writing in the mid-1970s, conventional...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

SMFS Member Guest Post: Producing an audiobook: It is worth it for short stories? by Judy Penz Sheluk

Please welcome back SMFS member Judy Penz Sheluk back today. Her topic in this guest post is short stories and audiobooks.

Producing an audiobook: It is worth it for short stories? by Judy Penz Sheluk

Last year, I took the plunge and decided to release both my mystery novels in audiobook format using ACX as the publishing platform. SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC was published in July 2017, followed by THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE in November 2017. While I’m not quite ready to buy a new car, my investment was simply one of time: I’d already written the books, I owned the audiobook rights, and I opted for a royalty share with the narrator/publisher (the lovely thing about that is ACX takes care of the payment side of things for both sides AND they pay monthly).

While full-length novels seemed to make sense for audiobooks, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be worth investing the time into LIVE FREE OR TRI, my self-published collection of three short mystery stories, originally released in January 2016 on Amazon. After all, what did I have to lose beyond a few hours of my time?

Following the ACX protocol (you can read all about it on my blog, links below, or go directly to, I put a callout for narrators. Fortunately for me, Kate Tyler submitted a great audition, and, after checking her other audiobooks, I contracted her for the work. She didn’t disappoint (you can hear a sample on, but at just under one hour of listening time, versus the 6 to 8 hours of my previous books, would the book actually sell?

The short answer is yes; in fact, in a month LIVE FREE OR TRI has already outsold THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE, and is rapidly closing in on SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC. It seems folks actually want short and mysterious, and some are even willing to review it, with almost all 5/5/5-star ratings (audiobooks are rated 1-5 on Story, Narration, and Overall) on Audible, as well as a handful of ratings on Goodreads.

Will I get rich selling audiobooks, short, long or otherwise? Unlikely. But I’m getting my stories into the hands (or ears) of new readers and listeners, all without any monetary out-of-pocket expense. That, to me, is a definite win. If you own the audiobook rights to your story, I urge you to try it. After all, what have you got to lose?

Producing an audiobook, Part I

Producing an audiobook, Part II

Audible Page

New to Audible? Here's a link to a free download of LIVE FREE OR TRI:

Judy Penz Sheluk ©2018 

An Amazon international bestselling author, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE and A HOLE IN ONE) and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Her short crime fiction appears is included in several collections, including LIVE FREE OR TRI.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario.

Find Judy on her website/blog at, where she interviews and showcases the works of other authors and blogs about the writing life. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: Michael Bracken

SMFS Member Michael Bracken has had several pieces appear in recent days. They are in the order he announced the news on Facebook….

His short story, “Plumber’s Helper” appears online at The Saturday Evening Post.

His short story, “The Mourning Man” appears in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: March/April 2018 edition.

His short story, “My Stripper Past” appears in Pulp Adventures #28: Winter 2018.

This is all in addition to his recent appearance last week at the Something Is Going To Happen Blog with his piece, “Poster Child.” That news was reported in a separate SMFS blog post last week.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: O’Neil De Noux

SMFS Member O’Neil De Noux’s latest book, Lucifer's Falcon: A Secret Agent Superhero Novel (Lucifer Series) (Volume 2) is available at Amazon in print format. 

From the synopsis at Amazon...

It is 1936, and newlyweds Luce and Catrin have a secret. They are on a mission to rescue two men from two European castles. From the coast of Spain to the French Riviera to a high castle in snowy Bavaria, these American secret agents tangle with Spanish fascists, Nazi thugs, and monstrous men with super human powers. Catrin and Luce have their own surprising superpowers. Did they just stumble on a stone with incredible power? Can they pull off these rescues and make it out alive to continue their honeymoon? With the unexpected aid of a rapacious falcon, they just may get out alive. Lucifer LeRoux and Catrin Allaway are Advanced Humans (AH), humans who whose ancestors evolved differently from regular people. Luce's increased powers of sight, hearing, smell and touch is matched by his great physical strength, speed and ability to heal. His sense of balance is so acute, he is more acrobatic than any simian. He can see telegraphically and microscopically and in darkness, can memorize heartbeats, hear the softest sounds. He can leap great distances and race at breakneck speeds. Catrin's ability to mask herself and objects around her allow them to move invisibly. She is also able to change her hair color and length in a few moments, morphing from a rave-headed brunette with hair past her shoulder almost to her hips into an icy ash-blond with a page boy haircut. Paired together in Macao on their first mission, they couple quickly fall in love, marry and work as a invaluable team as they continue to evolve. Recruited by Catrin's brother - another AH who can read minds - the couple work as secret agent spies for the US in 1936. They battle Japanese agents and Nazi thugs and a host of AHs hell bent on destroying humanity.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Proofing Department: How to Get the Most from the Colon and Em Dash

The Proofing Department: How to Get the Most from the Colon and Em Dash: The Colon and Em Dash     :  —  Part 1 of 2 The colon is used in nonfiction mostly as an introducer for explanatory statements, ...

2018 Derringer Awards Judges Needed!

Originally posted to Shortmystery February 15, 8:09 p.m. PST by Jay Hartman:

Hi, everyone!

I'm a bit behind in getting submissions out for judging, as the process of getting all the ducks in a row turned out to be a bit more convoluted than I had expected.

I'm ready to start sending out titles to be judged, but I'm still short on judges. Here's what I currently need:

Flash Fiction: 1 judge needed
Short Story: This category is covered
Long Story: 1 judge needed
Novelette: 1 judge needed

Please respond to as soon as possible if you are interested.


Jay Hartman

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

SMFS Member Publication News: Gail Farrelly

My story, "The Meddlesome Mensch," is up today at the Yonkers Tribune. It's the tale of an electronic reader that comes to the rescue of its owner just in the nick of time on Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

SMFS Members published in Fiction River: Justice

Three SMFS members were published late last month in the JUSTICE issue of Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine. The issue (number 27) is available in digital and paper formats from WMG Publishing  as well as Amazon and other vendors.  

The published members are:

Diana Deverell for “Mercy Find Me.”

Robert T. Jeschonek for “The Darks of Their Eyes.”

Lyn Worthen writing as Lauryn Christopher for “Best Served . . . Salted.”

Monday, February 5, 2018

SMFS Agatha Award Nominees

Established in 1989, Malice Domestic™ is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area that celebrates the traditional mystery, best typified by the works of Agatha Christie, containing no explicit sex, excessive gore, or violence.

Malice Domestic 30 (April 27- 29, 2018) sees four SMFS members up for the Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Those members are:

Barb Goffman for “Whose Wine is it Anyway” in the anthology, 50 Shades of Cabernet (Koehler Books).

Debra Goldstein for “The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place” in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017).

Gigi Pandian for “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” (Henery Press).

Art Taylor for “A Necessary Ingredient” in the anthology Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea (Down &Out Books).

Please note that each short story is linked to where you can read the work for free thanks to the efforts of Janet Rudolph and her Mystery Fanfare blog.

Additionally, Edith Maxwell is a nominee in the Best Historical Novel category for her mystery, Called To Justice

Also nominated in the Best First Novel category is Micky Browning for Adrift: A Mer Cavallo Mystery.

SMFS salutes our six members on this honor and wishes them all the best as they represent SMFS at Malice Domestic. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Little Big Crimes Review: The Crucial Game by Janice Law

Little Big Crimes: The Crucial Game, by Janice Law: "The Crucial Game," by Janice Law, in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, January-February 2018. In her fifth appearance at thi...

2018 Derringer Awards Update - February 3

Originally posted to Shortmystery February 3, 2018, 8:45 p.m. PST, by Derringer Awards Coordinator Jay Hartman:

Hi, everyone. Here is the updated list of Derringer submissions as promised. Just a few more hours to go!

Incidentally, I’ve had a few people contact me off-list to question the eligibility of a few of the submissions. I wanted to assure everyone that I’ve done due diligence on every single title and have confirmed the eligibility of every title listed below.

Could we have actually made it through this Derringer without major drama? I realize it's still early but I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Jay Hartman

FLASH (up to 1,000 words)
  • 83
  • A Garden for Adonis
  • A Postcard from Iceland
  • A Will and a Way
  • Alleyway Alvin
  • Altercation on Ballet Boulevard
  • An Afternoon in Lake Park
  • Cold Turkey
  • Disappearing Act
  • Dog Trap
  • Father Knows Bets
  • Final Testimony
  • Fishing for an Alibi
  • Flash Point
  • Gary Deserves Reward
  • Happy Birthday
  • Hostage
  • Mean Girl
  • Meeting the Demand
  • Slipping Into Darkness
  • Stegmann's Basement
  • The Forcier Brothers
  • The Hitchhiker

SHORT STORY (1,001–4,000 words)

  • A Death in Deep Ellum
  • A Murder in Montreux
  • A Pie to Die For
  • A Respectable Lady
  • A Valentine's Day to Remember
  • A Watched Pot
  • Abduction of Destiny
  • Antiques
  • Baby Killer
  • Black Coffee in Bed
  • Black Friday
  • Blood Moon
  • Blood on the Floor
  • Borrowed Time
  • Breath Test
  • Bull's Eye
  • Closurre
  • Consequences
  • Eb and Flo
  • Every Picture Tells a Story
  • Fish Out of Water
  • Flight to the Flirty Flamingo
  • Gem Collector
  • Getting Away
  • Her Father's Killer
  • Homebodies
  • It's All Litter to Me
  • Jealous of the Daylight
  • Judge Jillian
  • Juju
  • Justice Due
  • Killing Time So I Can Dig Myself a Deeper Grave
  • Let It Burn
  • Live at Alcatraz
  • Missing Person
  • Missouri Waltz
  • Montezuma's Revenge
  • Most Evil
  • Murder in the Summer Kitchen
  • My Life in Killer Recipes
  • Napa Hospitality
  • Never Miss a Chick
  • Not the Way It Looks
  • Nut Job
  • Of Roosters and Men
  • On Like Donkey Kong
  • Picture Perfect
  • Shut Your Eyes and You'll Be Fine
  • The Baker's Boy
  • The Bank Job
  • The Chair Thief
  • The Cop Who Loved Gilbert and Sullivan
  • The Find of the Century
  • The Girl with the Mangled Breast
  • The Hardest Part
  • The Kids Keep Coming
  • The Last Train Out
  • The Lesson
  • The New Score
  • The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie's Place
  • The Perfect Patsy
  • The Queen-Size Bed
  • The Ranchero's Daughter
  • The Settlement
  • The Things We Do for Love
  • The Uninhabited
  • The Writer
  • Thicker Than Water
  • To the Moon and Back
  • True Love
  • Twenty-Five Minutes to Go
  • Uncle Charlie and the Passport
  • Unrepentant Sinner
  • Voices Carry
  • You Should've Called Me

LONG STORY (4,001–8,000 words)

  • #2 Pencil
  • A Woman's Place
  • All That Glitters
  • As Ye Sow
  • Becky's File
  • Breadfruit
  • Breakage
  • Burning Bright
  • Burnt Orange
  • Chasing the Moon
  • Cleaning Up the Neighborhood
  • Crazy Cat Lady
  • Day's Work
  • Death in the Serengeti
  • Death and the Dancing Bears
  • Death Will Help You Imagine
  • Dixie Quickies
  • Do Not Pass Go
  • El Asesino
  • Exposed for Murder
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fear in Black and White
  • Featuring Martin and Lewis
  • Fishtown Lockup
  • Gossip
  • Gun Work
  • Happy Families
  • Hatcheck
  • Hidden
  • Jerusalem Syndrome
  • Last Call for Buffalo
  • Long Story
  • Matricide and Ice Cream
  • Mrs. Featherpatch and the Case of the Skewered Ham
  • Ominous Silence
  • One at a Time
  • Out of Business
  • Press It Down
  • Raising Bigfoot
  • Saving the House
  • Seth's Big Move
  • Smoked
  • Snakebit
  • Strong Enough
  • The Barter
  • The Black Hand
  • The Darkness and the Light
  • The Dead
  • The Dying Season
  • The Farmer and His Wife
  • The Front Man
  • The Last Evil
  • The Magnolia Murders
  • The Mechanical Rat
  • The Murderous Type
  • The Papergirl
  • The Ride of Your Life
  • The Spy Who Read Too Much
  • The Thirty-Fourth Man
  • The Touch of Time
  • The Tragic Death of Mrs. Edna Fogg
  • The Widow Black
  • This Ain’t No Time for a Vacation
  • Too Good to be True
  • Trail's End
  • What Could Possibly Go Boing?
  • Whose Wine Is It Anyway?
  • Writer's Block

NOVELETTE (8,001–20,000 words)

  • A Necessary Ingredient
  • Along the Hudson
  • Blaming the Arsonist
  • Flowing Waters
  • For Want of a Book
  • I Know They're In There!
  • Kill My Wife, Please
  • King's Quarters
  • London After Midnight
  • Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma
  • Night Class
  • Snake Oil
  • The Bootlegger's Goddaughter
  • The Children of Espiritu Santo
  • The Echoes
  • The Last Heist
  • The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn
  • The Mechanical Detective
  • Trouble Like a Freight Train Coming
  • Windward

Saturday, February 3, 2018

2018 Derringer Awards: Last Day for Submissions!

Originally posted to Shortmystery February 3, 2018, 8:45 a.m. PST by Derringer Coordinator Jay Hartman:

Hi, Everyone!

Just a reminder that today is the last day for Derringer submission consideration. All entries must be received at no later than 11:59 p.m. PST. No extensions will be permitted and SMFS and the Derringer Coordinator are not responsible for late-delivered emails or emails that never arrive. At approximately 8:00 p.m. PST an updated list of entries will be posted to [Shortmystery]. That will allow an additional four hours for submitting in case you do not see your title listed.

I do still have a few receipt confirmations to send out, which will be happening this evening when I return home.


Jay Hartman