Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 70


As posted by SMFS member Peter DiChellis to our list…

This week’s blog treks bad-ass back roads with links to a fearsome clan of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: A review of a Daniel Woodrell collection and two rural noir free-reads from Tough.
Plus: Make your characters more interesting with lies.
A short walk down a dark street (#70). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

Saturday, September 14, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: Joe Walker


SMFS list member Joe Walker’s short story, “Gnat” appears in the new anthology, Life Is Short And Then You Die: Mystery Writers of America Presents First Encounters with Murder. Published by Macmillan, the read is available in both print and digital formats from Amazon and other vendors.

Synopsis:

Life Is Short and Then You Die is the Mystery Writers of America's first teen anthology, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.
Adolescence is a time of “firsts.” First kiss. First love. First loss. First job. The first taste of adult responsibilities, and the first look at an independent life away from both the restrictions and the security of home.
And in this case, a very different type of “first”: murder.
This short story collection of murder mysteries adds a sinister spin to the joy and pain of firsts that have always been a major part of life, whether it be high school cliques who take the term “backstabbing” too seriously, stumbling upon a body on the way home from school, or receiving a Snapchat message that promises something deadly.
Contributors include Barry Lyga, Caleb Roehrig, Emmy Laybourne, Jonathan Maberry, R.L. Stine, Rachel Vincent, Y.S. Lee, and more!

SMFS Member Publishing News: Frank Zafiro


SMFS list member, Frank Zafiro, writing as Frank Saverio, has a short story in the new anthology, The Wand That Rocks The Cradle: Magical Stories Of Family. Published by Lagrange Books, the read is available in both print and digital formats at Amazon. Mr. Zafiro’s short story is titled,  “To Find A Peach.”

Synopsis:

Warm, heartbreaking, tender, poignant—eight fantasy stories of the family.Family is filled with magic. It can be the warm magic of love, with bonds that can never be broken; it can be the bitter magic of old resentments and keen disappointments. It can be achingly beautiful or terrifyingly cruel.Explore the hidden depths of family in this anthology of stories from celebrated and award-winning authors. Transport yourself to dazzling settings like an isolated lake cottage watched over by a mysterious protector, a reality-TV show about a family of witches, a world besieged by dragon-wielding terrorists, an oddly relaxing coffee shop, and New Orleans after the rise of the unquiet dead.Experience the wonder and magic of family.The Wand that Rocks the Cradle features the following stories:“Bellwethers Know Best,” by Marion Deeds“Legacy,” by Joanna Michal Hoyt“Coffee Break,” by W.O. Hemsath“She That Was So Proud and Wild,” by Misha Burnett“Dead in First Grade,” by P.L. Sundeson“The Dragon Detector,” by Elana Gomel“The Lake Cottage, by Michelle F Goddard“To Find a Peach,” by Frank SaverioWith an introduction by editor Oren Litwin.



SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Richie Narvaez


Each Saturday, we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old.  

For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, list member Richie Narvaez shares his May 2018  published short story, “Withhold the Dawn” archived at CrimeReads.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The First Two Pages: “Yorkshire Ripper” by Mysti Berry

The First Two Pages: “Yorkshire Ripper” by Mysti Berry

SMFS Member Publishing News: Edith Maxwell


Today is publication day for SMFS list member Edith Maxwell’s new book, Judge Thee Not: A Quaker Midwife Mystery. Fifth in the series, the book is published by Beyond The Page Publishing. It is available at Amazon and other vendors in print and digital formats.

Synopsis:

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must fight bias and blind assumptions to clear the name of a friend when a murderer strikes in nineteenth-century Massachusetts . . .

No stranger to judgmental attitudes in her small town of Amesbury, Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is nonetheless stunned when society matron Mayme Settle publicly snubs her good friend Bertie for her nontraditional lifestyle. When Mrs. Settle is later found murdered—and a supposed witness insists Bertie was spotted near the scene of the crime—the police have no choice but to set their sights on the slighted woman as their main suspect.

Rose is certain her friend is innocent of the heinous deed, and when Rose isn’t busy tending to her duties as midwife, she enlists the help of a blind pregnant client—who’s endured her own share of prejudice—to help her sift through the clues. As the two uncover a slew of suspects tied to financial intrigues, illicit love, and an age-old grudge over perceived wrongs, Rose knows she’ll have to bring all her formidable intelligence to bear on solving the crime. Because circumstantial evidence can loom large in small minds, and she fears her friend will soon become the victim of a grave injustice…

Monday, September 9, 2019

Little Big Crimes Review: The Dead Man in the Pearl Gray Hat by Bruce W. Mos...

Little Big Crimes: The Dead Man in the Pearl Gray Hat,by Bruce W. Mos...: "The Dead Man in the Pearl Gray Hat," by Bruce W. Most, in Mystery Weekly Magazine, August 2019. Lillian de la Torre was the ...

SMFS Member Publication News: Larry Chavis


SMFS Vice President Larry Chavis’ poem, “The Hunt,” is published online today at The 5-2. Inspired by a form of Welsh poetry, the piece is Mr. Chavis’ first poetry publication at the long running site operated by SMFS list member and former officer, Gerald So.

Guest Post: How to Make A Story: What to Put In, What to Take Out by Elizabeth Zelvin

Please welcome back Elizabeth Zelvin to our SMFS Blog. Among other things, Elizabeth Zelvin is the editor for the Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology recently published by Level Best Books. 


How to Make A Story: What to Put In, What to Take Out

Elizabeth Zelvin


The topic of my new anthology, Me Too Short Stories, is crimes against women, tales of retribution and healing. I had two agendas. One was to give a voice to women and girls who had survived abuse and violence. The second was to do it through fiction—specifically, through short stories. I had a story of my own already written, a perfect fit for what I had in mind.

When I started reading submissions, I found that some of them were too linear. A woman was victimized, she had her feelings, she reacted. Such a narrative was heartfelt, but it wasn't a story. I was looking for stories in which something happened. I wanted plot, craft, and context, not fictionalized versions of personal testimony, heartfelt and powerful as such testimony can be.

Full disclosure: as I realized the above distinction between the manuscripts I was accepting and those I was rejecting, I realized that I'd only written half a story. Back to the keyboard! I left the opening pages as I'd written them, introducing my protagonist. Then I added a second protagonist and started to develop her very different story. By the time I was done revising, while the two main characters never meet, their destinies are on a collision course.

I still had something to learn with that particular story. I asked a respected writer of short stories for a critique.

"This scene is too long," he said. "You don't want to give the reader time to guess what happens. Besides, the scene is close to the end, so you need to pick up the pace.”

“How do I fix it?” Some critters make you solve it yourself, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

This is the paragraph you can do without," he said.

He was absolutely right. As an editor, I help others with pace all the time. But sometimes I still need someone else to point it out in my own story.

It wasn’t the first time. I was in a workshop group that was giving critique of one of my novels. Chapter One started with the telephone ringing. The protagonist answers, rolls out of bed, throws his clothes on, runs down the stairs, and dashes out into the rain, where two friends are waiting in their car.

Once again, it was a short story writer, another master of the brief, who put a finger a third of the way down the page and said, "The story starts here."

Out came everything from the ringing of the phone to the opening of the car door. The first two words of the published novel are, "I scootched." Thanks to that writer’s finger, the book starts with a surprising verb instead of a series of boring actions that the reader doesn’t need to know.


Elizabeth Zelvin ©2019


Elizabeth Zelvin is the author of the Bruce Kohler Mysteries and the Mendoza Family Saga. Her short stories have been nominated three times each for the Derringer and Agatha awards and have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, among others. She has edited two anthologies: Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology and Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4. Visit her author website at http://elizabethzelvin.com.  

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 69


As posted by SMFS list member Peter DiChellis…

This week’s blog serves up the hot stuff with links to a smokin’ assortment of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: All the latest free-to-read flash fiction from Mystery Tribune, and reviews of two issues of cutting edge crime ‘zine Switchblade.
Plus: Interviews with the editors of Tough and The Strand Magazine (for those who missed them on the SMFS blog).
A short walk down a dark street (#69). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

SMFS Members Published in the Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology


Numerous SMFS list members are published in the just released, Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology. Published by Level Best Books, the read was edited by SMFS list member Elizabeth Zelvin. The book is available in print and digital formats from Amazon, and other vendors. The SMFS list members in the anthology are:

Ana Brazil with  “Miss Evelyn Nesbit Presents.”

Diana Catt with “The Final Recall.”

Dayle A. Dermatis with “Women Who Love Dogs.”

Eve Fisher with “Pentecost.”

Lyn Hesse with “Jewel’s Hell.”

VS Kemanis with “No Outlet.”

Madeline McEwen with “Stepping on Snakes.”

Ann Rawson with “A Dog’s Life.”

Carol Sojka with “Chrissie.”

Elizabeth Zelvin with “Never Again.”


Synospis:


What do women want? A voice. To be heard. Respect. To be believed. Justice. To be both safe and free. The women in these stories have daughters, sisters, friends. The minister worries about her parishioners. The banshee worries about the Hippocratic Oath. The microbiologist worries about her obligation to the dead. They will use any means to protect themselves and those they love: a childish jingle, a skillet full of cornbread, a candle, their own quick wits. We cannot ignore their voices.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

SMFS Short Story Saturdays: Jim Doherty


Each Saturday, we feature a SMFS list member whose work can be read online for free. These short stories are at least a year old.  

For SMFS Short Story Saturdays today, list member Jim Doherty, writing as Scott Morrison, shares the May 2003 published short story, “Red-Handed” that originally appeared on Hand Held Crime.  Thanks to the Wayback Machine Internet Archive you can read it.

If you would like to be included and are a member of the SMFS list at yahoo groups, email the link to your story to KevinRTipple at Verizon dot net. If you are not a member, this would be a good time to check us out at Yahoo Groups.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

What Editors Want You To Know: Check this Out! Strand Magazine

What Editors Want You To Know: Check this Out! Strand Magazine

SMFS Member Publishing News: Jack Bates


SMFS list member Jack Bates’ short story, “Bonne Chance Confidential” appears in the new anthology, Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline: Dieselpunk and Decopunk Fairy Tales. Published by World Weaver Press, the read is available in both print and digital formats from Amazon, the publisher, and other vendors.

Synospis:

Dieselpunk and decopunk are alternative history re-imaginings of (roughly) the WWI and WWII eras: tales with the grit of roaring bombers and rumbling tanks, of 'We Can Do It' and old time gangsters, or with the glamour of flappers and Hollywood starlets, smoky jazz and speakeasies. The stories in this volume add fairy tales to the mix, transporting classic tales to this rich historical setting.

Two young women defy the devil with the power of friendship. The pilot of a talking plane discovers a woman who transforms into a swan every night and is pulled into a much more personal conflict than the war he’s already fighting. A pair of twins with special powers find themselves in Eva Braun’s custody and wrapped up in a nefarious plan. A team of female special agents must destroy a secret weapon–the spindle–before it can be deployed. Retellings of The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Monkey King, Swan Lake, Pinocchio and more are all showcased alongside some original fairy tale-like stories. 

Featuring stories by Zannier Alejandra, Alicia K. Anderson, Jack Bates, Patrick Bollivar, Sara Cleto, Amanda C. Davis, Jennifer R. Donohue, Juliet Harper, Blake Jessop, A.A. Medina, Lizz Donnelly, Nellie Neves, Wendy Nikel, Brian Trent, Alena Van Arendonk, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Sarah Van Goethem, and Robert E. Vardeman.




Tuesday, September 3, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: David Rachels


SMFS List member David Rachels’ short story, “The Wife Beater: An Oral History,” appears in Mystery Tribune: Summer 2019 Issue 20. You can buy it in print or digital format at their website.

Synopsis:

·         A curated collection of short fiction including stories by Reed Farrel Coleman, Rusty Barnes, Casey Barrett, Brett Busang, Vincent H. O’Neil, David Rachels, Scott Loring Sanders, Mark Slade, and Robb White.

·         Interviews and Reviews by Alex Segura, Nick Kolakowski, Tobias Carroll, and Erica Wright.
·         Art and Photography by Michael McCluskey, Patrick Clelland, and more.

This issue also features a preview of the new Bury The Lede graphic novel by CGaby Dunn and Claire Roe.
NY Times Bestselling author Reed Farrel Coleman has called Mystery Tribune “a cut above” and mystery grand masters Lawrence Block and Max Allan Collins have praised it for its “solid fiction” and “the most elegant design”.
An elegantly crafted quarterly issue, printed on uncoated paper and with a beautiful layout designed for optimal reading experience, our Summer 2019 issue will make a perfect companion or gift for avid mystery readers and fans of literary crime fiction.
Your issue will typically arrive within 2-3 weeks after availability.

Victoria Weisfeld Reviews: ****Pieces by Michael Aloisi and Rebecca Rowland

Victoria Weisfeld Reviews: ****Pieces by Michael Aloisi and Rebecca Rowland 

SleuthSayers: Negotiating Writing Contracts by Paul D. Marks and Jacqueline Seewald

SleuthSayers: Negotiating Writing Contracts: by Paul D. Marks and Jacqueline Seewald A couple of months ago I read a blog post by Jacqueline Seewald that I really liked and thought c...

Monday, September 2, 2019

SMFS Member Publishing News: Rusty Barnes


SMFS List member Rusty Barnes’ short story, “The Russian,” appears in Mystery Tribune: Summer 2019 Issue 20. You can buy it in print or digital format at their website.


Synopsis:

·         A curated collection of short fiction including stories by Reed Farrel Coleman, Rusty Barnes, Casey Barrett, Brett Busang, Vincent H. O’Neil, David Rachels, Scott Loring Sanders, Mark Slade, and Robb White.

·         Interviews and Reviews by Alex Segura, Nick Kolakowski, Tobias Carroll, and Erica Wright.
·         Art and Photography by Michael McCluskey, Patrick Clelland, and more.

This issue also features a preview of the new Bury The Lede graphic novel by CGaby Dunn and Claire Roe.
NY Times Bestselling author Reed Farrel Coleman has called Mystery Tribune “a cut above” and mystery grand masters Lawrence Block and Max Allan Collins have praised it for its “solid fiction” and “the most elegant design”.
An elegantly crafted quarterly issue, printed on uncoated paper and with a beautiful layout designed for optimal reading experience, our Summer 2019 issue will make a perfect companion or gift for avid mystery readers and fans of literary crime fiction.
Your issue will typically arrive within 2-3 weeks after availability.

SMFS Member Publishing News: O’Neil De Noux


SMFS list member O’Neil De Noux’s short story, “The Raven And the Wolf” appears in the just released anthology, Paul Bishop Presents... Disorderly Conduct: Another Ten  Tales of Murder & Mayhem. Published by Wolfpack Publishing, the read is available in print and digital formats from Amazon and other vendors.

Synopsis:

Disorderly conduct is the gateway drug to crime. It’s not far from here to yonder—disorderly to uncooperative to resisting, then on to physical assault, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, to wanted dead or alive. Disorderly conduct is the rabbit hole of violence. It’s the writing on the wall and it’s the spark of ideas for crime writers everywhere.
In Disorderly Conduct, bestselling author and crime fiction maven Paul Bishop has once again locked up the criminally minded among us—Not those who would actually do the crime (most of us couldn’t do the time), but brilliant purveyors of criminal visions. Enjoy these ten tales of murder & mayhem and may the words spur your own inner world of imagination.
Stories by Paul Bishop, O’Neil De Noux, Wayne D. Dundee, Brian Drake, Mike A. Baron, James Hopwood, Bill Craig, Bobby Nash, Jean Rabe, and Nicholas Cain.


SMFS Members Published in Mysterical-E: Summer 2019


The Mysterical-E: Summer 2019 issue has been released and is now available to download and read for free at Mysterical-E. SMFS members have fiction as well as nonfiction pieces in this issue.

Fiction

Heidi Hunter with “Granny Livvy’s Secret.”

Robert Petyo with “Manic Mystery Society.”

Cathi Stoler with “That’s My Story (And I’m Sticking To It)


Nonfiction

Christine Verstraete with her “Author Snapshot” feature on SMFS list members Kaye George, Terrie Farley Moran, and other authors and their news of upcoming books.

Kaye George’s new feature titled, “What’s Your Process” is back in this issue. Fellow members Madeline McEwen and Pam De Voe are two of the four authors interviewed for this column.

In her “Take Another Look: Ironweed” Anita Page considers the movie and how weather became a major character in the film.

Gerald So is back in this issue with his long running feature, “Mysterical-Eye.” This time he talks about various classic television shows as well as some new ones on various platforms.

Also included in the issue is an interview with Paul D. Marks.

SleuthSayers: Taking Stock by Steve Liskow

SleuthSayers: Taking Stock: by Steve Liskow When I was in kindergarten, we started school the day after Labor Day, and somewhere in the next few years, we backed off ...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Diana Deverell


SMFS list member Diana Deverell sends word this morning that in addition to her new interview at The Big Thrill where she discusses the backstory to her Derringer nominated short story and her book, Lay Bare The Lie, she has published a short story published previously by AHMM. Her short story, Opening Day, 1954: A Short Story, came out back in July in digital format and can be picked up at Amazon.

Amazon Synopsis:

Working undercover, the newest police department recruit in this southern California town is the only cop available to stop a mad bomber hellbent on wrecking a theme park’s grand opening.

All other law enforcement officers in town—and the California Highway Patrol—are outside trying to unsnarl the traffic jamming every road into this spanking new concept in family entertainment.

The bomber is hiding somewhere inside the 150-acre park. Youthful Secretary-Matron Peggy Murphy has to find him before he blows up twenty-two thousand guests, broadcast live on national TV.

Can Peggy stop him from turning the happiest kingdom on earth into the saddest?

A Derringer and Macavity Award finalist acclaimed for “sharp storytelling” (Publishers Weekly), Diana Deverell brings you a thrilling short mystery with a twist. Buy “Opening Day, 1954: A Short Story” today and take a wild ride to the not-so-distant—and not-so-safe—past.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

A Short Walk Down A Dark Street: Issue 68


As posted by SMFS list member Peter DiChellis…

This week’s blog gives up the goodies with links to a sweet taste of reviews, releases, free reads, and more.
Includes: Ten short essays on writing crime scenes—covering arson, autopsies, cop talk, guns, poison, suicide vs. murder, and more.
A short walk down a dark street (#68). Celebrating short mystery and crime fiction.
Best wishes,
Peter

Little Big Crimes Review: Niall Nelson is on my Flight by Jim Fusilli

Little Big Crimes: Niall Nelson is on my Flight, by Jim Fusilli: "Niall Nelson is on my Flight," by Jim Fusilli, in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, September/October 2019. This is the seco...

SMFS Member Publishing News: Frank Zafiro


SMFS list member Frank Zafiro’s new book, A Gyro and a Glock: Guns + Tacos Book Three, is released today. This is the third novella in the overarching series and follows Tacos de Cazuela con Smith and Wesson by Gary Phillips and Three Brisket Tacos and a Sig Saur by Michael Bracken. Published by Down & Out Books, the read is now available in eBook formats from Amazon and other vendors.

Synopsis:

Tim never wanted to hurt anyone. He certainly didn't want to get hurt. Mostly, he just wanted to hang out with his best friend Ernie and enjoy their high. But an overbearing cop and a series of rough drug dealers conspired to make that impossible. 

Pressured into becoming an informant, Tim finds himself slipping deeper and deeper into dangerous territory, until there seems to be no way out. Until Ernie tells him about a very special taco truck...

SleuthSayers: A Guide in a Strange Land by John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: A Guide in a Strange Land: by John M. Floyd That's what a good agent can be. And if you don't believe publishing is a strange land, you probably haven&#39...