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.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Cold Hard Cash #1: A Martha Chainey Escapade by Gary Phillips

SMFS list member Gary Phillips’ new book, Cold Hard Cash #1: A Martha Chainey Escapade was released earlier this week. Published by West of Seguin, it is a Comixology Original for the kindle. You can pick it up here on Amazon. You can also read the “COLD HARD CASH Exclusive Preview” at ScreenRant.Com.


Amazon Description:

Martha Chainey gets looped into the assignment and sets out into Los Angeles to chase her early leads.

Monday, February 19, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: What Ever Happened to Lorna Winters? by Lisa Morton

SMFS list member Lisa Morton’s short story, What Ever Happened to Lorna Winters?, is published in Black Cat Weekly #129. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Website Description:

BCW 129 is a fun issue. Courtesy of Acquiring Editor Michael Bracken, we have an original Sherlock Holmes tale by A.L. Sirois, and courtesy of Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman, we have a great tale by Lisa Morton. A pulp crime story by H. Bedford Jones, a nautical mystery by Ralph Henry Barbour, and a solve-it-yourself puzzler from Hal Charles round out the mystery half.

   On the science fiction side, we have a haunting tale by Leslie F. Stone about the last days of the dying Sun; an alien-themed suspense tale from Clyde Mitchell; a tale of a particle accelerator gone wrong; and art duplication (or is it forgery?) A humorous Burroughsian tale by Robert F. Young rounds out the issue.

   Here’s the complete lineup—


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “The Mystery of Edith Curtsey,” by A.L. Sirois [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “The Unlocked Room Mystery,” Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “What Ever Happened to Lorna Winters?” by Lisa Morton [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “He Swallows Gold,” by H. Bedford-Jones [short story]
  • The Mystery of the Sea-lark, by Ralph Henry Barbour [novel]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “When the Sun Went Out,” by Leslie F. Stone [short story]
  • “Deadly Decoy,” by Clyde Mitchell [short story]
  • “The Oddly Elusive Brunette,” by John Victor Peterson [short story]
  • “The Wizard of Light,” by David Ely [short story]
  • “The Blonde from Barsoom,” by Robert F. Young [short story]

Thursday, February 15, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Betrayal: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem Book #17

Today is publication day for Betrayal: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem Book #17. Published by Knotted Road Press, the read is available at MysteryCrimeandMayhem.Com and Amazon.  The SMFS list members that reported being in the issue are: 


Joslyn Chase with "Colder Than Gazpacho."                      


Diana Deverell with "Foul Trouble."


David H. Hendrickson with "Your Mother's a Whore!"


Robert Jeschonek with "Night of the Moto-Men."


Annie Reed with "Freedom Day."


Amazon Description: 

Things are never as straight forward as they seem. Friends can turn to enemies in the blink of an eye.

Or perhaps they've always been out to get you, playing along the whole time, getting you to trust them.

Just so that the betrayal can be absolute.

Come read the latest issue of MCM, and the syndicate's take on being betrayed.

With very special guest author donalee Moulton.

Now starting year five!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Yellow Mama Webzine: Issue 102


SMFS list members are published in the just released, Yellow Mama Webzine: Issue 102. The issue is online and a free read here. The SMFS list members that reported being in the issue are:



Shari Held with “A Dish Best Served Cold.”


Joan Leotta with "Face in the Tree."


KM Rockwood with “Wheelie.”


Victoria Weisfeld with "Here's Looking at You."

SMFS Member Podcast News: Caught by the Last Star by Nikki Knight

SMFS list member Nikki Knight’s short story, Caught by the Last Star, is featured this week at Mysteryrat's Maze podcast. Produced by Kings River Life Magazine, the podcast can be heard here.


Website Description:

This episode features the mystery short story Caught by the Last Star by Nikki Knight. It is read by actor Amelia Ryan. You can learn more about the author on her website.

In each episode, we share with you mystery short stories and mystery novel first chapters read by actors from the San Joaquin Valley. Our theme song was written and performed by Kevin Memley. If you enjoyed this episode please review or rate it as that helps more people be able to find us! Also, consider subscribing so you never miss an episode!

If you would like to help support this podcast and Kings River Life financially, and get some fun rewards, check out our Patreon Page. You can also make a one time donation through Paypal and you can purchase some fun Mysteryrat's Maze merchandise on Redbubble.

You can find more mystery fun on our websites Kings River Life Magazine and KRL News and Reviews.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Fake It Until You Make It by Susan Hatters Friedman

SMFS list member Susan Hatters Friedman’s short story, Fake It Until You Make It, is published online at the Mystery Tribune. The story can be read for free at the website.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Murder, Neat: A SleuthSayers Anthology

Multiple SMFS list members appear in the new anthology, Murder, Neat: A SleuthSayers Anthology. Published by Level Short, an imprint of Level Best Books, the anthology is available at Amazon. The SMFS members that reported being in the book are:


Editor Michael Bracken with "Bar None."


Joseph D'Agnese with "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bled."


David Dean with "The Atonement of Michael Darcy.”


Eve Fisher with "Bad Influence."


John M. Floyd with “Bourbon and Water.”


Editor Barb Goffman with "Never Have I Ever."


R.T. Lawton with “The Bar.”


Steve Liskow with "When You Walk In the Room."


Robert Lopresti with “Shanks’s Sunbeam.”


Robert Mangeot with "Noble Rot."

O'Neil De Noux with "Flesh Wounds."

Art Taylor with "Two for One."


Mark Thielman with "Lyrics and Music."


Brian Thornton with “The Catherine Wheel.”


Elizabeth Zelvin with "A Friendly Glass."


Amazon Description:

Whether they drink whiskey or wine, crime fiction writers can often be found indulging in their favorite libations at all manner of drinking establishments (especially the hotel bar at most mystery conventions!). So, what better way to recognize this natural affinity than Murder, Neat, a collection of twenty-four crime stories set in a variety of bars, taverns, and tasting rooms, written by many of the most honored living crime fiction short story writers.

Edited by Anthony Award-nominated editors Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman, and featuring the work of many of the contributors to the SleuthSayers group blog, 
Murder, Neat includes new stories from:

Michael Bracken
Melodie Campbell
Joseph D’Agnese
David Dean
O’Neil De Noux
Eve Fisher
John M. Floyd
David Edgerley Gates
Barb Goffman
Kristin Kisska
Janice Law
R.T. Lawton
Steve Liskow
Robert Lopresti
Leigh Lundin
Lawrence Maddox
Bob Mangeot
Travis Richardson
Stephen Ross
Art Taylor
Mark Thielman
Brian Thornton
Jim Winter
Elizabeth Zelvin

Monday, February 12, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Letter From a Lone Prospector to His Mother by William Burton McCormick


SMFS list member William Burton McCormick’s short story, Letter From a Lone Prospector to His Mother, is published in Black Cat Weekly #128. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Website Description:

 This issue has one of the best original stories we’ve published: Janet Law’s brilliant “Wrong Door,” a tale very much in the classic Twilight Zone tradition. Don’t skip it! Though Janice is best known for her mystery stories, this one proves she can write masterfully in any genre.

   But great stories don’t stop there. Our Acquiring Editors, Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman, have both found original stories this time—from William Burton McCormick and Steve Janko. Plus I’m pleased to present another new mystery story from the late Henry T. Parry. Parry was very much a hobbyist writer for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. His work started appearing there in the 1960s, and if the editor didn’t buy a story, he set it aside and moved on to another one. He didn’t send them to other markets, like any pro writer would have done. His daughter has entrusted his unpublished stories to me, and I am going through them and seeing which ones still work. (His last story appeared here in BCW #105.) I date “The Marina Case” to the early 1970s, and it’s a solid mystery that surely would have found a home had he submitted it to more than one editor.

   Our mystery novel this time is William Le Queux’s The Crystal Claw, a Golden Age page-turner. And, as always, we have a solve-it-yourself puzzler from Hal Charles.

   Turning back to the science fiction end of things, in addition to Janice Law’s tale, we have classics by Hannes Bok (miners on Venus!), William W. Stuart (a man wakes in a futuristic jail with no memory of how he got there!), and Charles L. Fontenay (envy leads to discovering an Earthman’s secrets!). Our SF novelet is an early space adventure from fantastist Manly Wade Wellman.

   Here’s the complete lineup—


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “Letter From a Lone Prospector to His Mother,” by William Burton McCormick [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “The Wild West Whodunit,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “Confessions of an Invisible Hit Man,” by Steve Janko [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “Grass Is Not Always Green,” by Henry T. Parry [short story]
  • The Crystal Claw, by William Le Queux [novel]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “Wrong Door,” by Janice Law [short story]
  • “One Touch of Terra,” by Hannes Bok [short story]
  • “A Prison Make,” by William W. Stuart [short story]
  • “Beauty Interrupted” by Charles L. Fontenay [short story]
  • The Invading Asteroid, by Manly Wade Wellman [short novel]

SMFS Members Published in Guilty Crime Story Magazine: Issue 010 – Winter 2024

SMFS list members are published in the Guilty Crime Story Magazine: Issue 010 – Winter 2024. Published by Full Speed Publishing, the read is available at Amazon. The SMFS list members that reported being in the issue are:


Editor Brandon Barrows with "Interview."


M.E. Proctor with "The Pit."


Amazon Description:

Guilty is a magazine of crime stories, of criminals, their motivations and their beginnings and ends.

In issue ten:

"A Skull Full of Solyanka" by Anthony Neil Smith - Russian mobster Piotr's world is falling apart...

"The Third Monday" by Robb T. White - Cole and Nic's life on the outside would be a lot more comfortable with some cash.

"The Pit" by M.E. Proctor - Cross the mob and they'll bury you--maybe literally.

"Sisters in Arms" by Russell Thayer - Gunselle should have known no good deed goes unpunished.

"Interview" by Brandon Barrows - Uhla's husband is dead. Naturally the police have questions...

"The Housebreakers" by Victor De Anda - They've been burgling for years without a hitch, but there's a first time for everything...

SMFS Members Published in Pulp Adventures #44


SMFS list members are published in Pulp Adventures #44. Published by Bold Ventures Press, the issue is available at the publisher. The SMFS list members that reported being in the issue are: 


Teel James Glenn with “Notches.”


Veronica Leigh with "Burning Bright."


Website Description: 


Featured Story


The Inevitable Conflict — E.C. Tubb

Thirty-six men were dead … that left Curt Harris, and time was running out!

Classic Pulp Fiction Close-Up


Room Number Twenty-Three — Judson P. Philips/Hugh Pentecost

Late evening … a scream … and a victim … but where was the victim?

Classic Pulp Fiction


The Wailing Hybrid — John Russell Fearn

A Comedy of Terrors — John Burke

Dagon — H.P. Lovecraft

New Pulp Fiction


Burning Bright — Veronica Leigh

Notches — Teel James Glenn

Worm Mother Revisited — Corky Savage

Scaramouche: A Rogue in the Hen House — Stuart Hopen

Pulp History


The Eliot Ness Story — Will Murray

57 Seconds and counting: E.C. Tubb — Philip Harbottle



Editorial: First is first — Audrey Parente

Rough edges: Thrilling Western, January 1953 — James Reasoner