Friday, May 31, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Think of Laura: A Stefan Kopriva Mystery by Frank Zafiro

SMFS list member Frank Zafiro reported that his latest book, Think of Laura: A Stefan Kopriva Mystery, is now out from Code 4 Press. Part of his River City Universe, Mr. Zafiro added that, “…this title is available exclusively from the Code 4 Press Bookstore in ebook format (epub, which is for most platforms, incl. Kindle and Kobo) for the first 90 days of release.  The paperback and retail versions will be released August 28.” More information can be found at the publisher website.


Website Description:

“Will you find my sister?”

Those words send Stefan Kopriva, the former cop-turned-investigator, down a frustrating and baffling path after Laura Shelton.

Is she running from an embezzlement charge? Or hiding from an abusive husband? People are talking but nothing they say is getting Kopriva closer to the truth.

Who is the real Laura? Kind and caring? Desperate and guilt-ridden? Or was she ruthless and opportunistic? Kopriva won’t know until he finds her.

If she’s still alive. 

SMFS Member Publishing News: Hot On The Trail by Liz Filleul

SMFS list member Liz Filleul reports that her short story, Hot On The Trail, appears in the just published, The Feel-good Fiction bookazine. You can learn more about this issue at the UK website.


Website Description:

44 Wonderful Stories

The People’s Friend is proud to present The Feel-good Fiction bookazine. As the home of great reading, the “Friend” brings you stunning new fiction every week, but for summer, we decided to do a little bit extra!

This beautifully-packaged magazine features 44 brand new stories, perfect for reading on hot, sunny days, whether you are away somewhere exotic on holiday, or relaxing in your garden. Inside, you will find stories featuring romance, drama, adventure and much more. Each story comes with an exquisite illustration. There’s poetry, too, to give you little moments of relaxation and zen between the stories. It all adds up to hours of wonderful entertainment you are sure to treasure.


Sunday, May 26, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Black Cat Weekly #143

SMFS list members are published in Black Cat Weekly #143. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format. The members that reported their stories are:


KM Rockwood with “Flippin' Flapjacks.”


Joseph S. Walker with “Sunrise at the Moonshine Palace.”



Publisher Description:

This issue, we have the second of the long-running Dutch series featuring the adventures of Lord Lister (Alias Raffles), as the Robin Hood of England tangles with a jeweler who likes to cheat his customers with fake diamonds and pearls. (This is a new translation and its first appearance in English. We have more coming up.) Plus we have original mysteries by Tom Larsen (thanks to Acquiring Editor Michael Bracken), Joseph S. Walker (thanks to Acquiring Editor Barb Goffman), and K M Rockwood. Plus, of course, a solve-it-yourself puzzler from Hal Charles.

   On the science fiction side of things, we have another great lineup, with tales by Stephen Marlow, Henry Slesar, Edmond Hamilton, Frank Belknap Long, and a writer best known for his mysteries, Donald E. Westlake. Enjoy!

   Here’s the complete lineup—

Cover art: Tom Miller.

Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “El Cazador (The Hunter),” by Tom Larsen [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “New Sheriff in Town,” Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “Sunrise at the Moonshine Palace,” by Joseph S. Walker [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “Flippin’ Flapjacks,” by K M Rockwood [short story]
  • “The Punishment of the Jewel Forger,” by Kurt Matull and Theo Blakensee [novelet, Lord Lister (Alias Raffles) #2]

Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “The Passionate Pitchman,” by Stephen Marlow [short story]
  • “My Robot,” by Henry Slesar [short story]
  • “The Life-Masters,” by Edmond Hamilton [short story]
  • “The Red Fetish,” by Frank Belknap Long [short story]
  • “Meteor Strike!” by Donald E. Westlake [short story]


Monday, May 20, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Retirement Plan by John M. Floyd

SMFS list member John M. Floyd’s short story, Retirement Plan, was published at Punk Noir Magazine. You can read the piece for free online here.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire by Donna Andrews

SMFS list member Donna Andrews’ short story, Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire, appears in Black Cat Weekly #142. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format.


Publisher Description:

This issue we have quite an all-star lineup. From modern masters of mystery like Donna Andrews and Andrew Welsh-Huggins to the greatest names in science fiction like Frank Herbert and Robert Silverberg, this is an amazing issue no matter how you look at it. As for our featured novels, we have a Fantômas tale by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain and Metropolis by Thea von Harbou. This might possibly be our best issue ever!

   Take a look at our contents and see for yourself—


Cover: Ron Miller


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “A Beauty All Its Own,” by Andrew Welsh-Huggins [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “Death Takes the Stage,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire,” by Donna Andrews [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
  • “The Murderer,” by Murray Leinster [short story]
  • The Long Arm of Fantômas, by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain [novel, Fantômas series]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “Chowhound” by Mack Reynolds [short novel]
  • “A Kiss for the Conqueror,” by Henry Slesar [short story]
  • “The Mystery of Deneb IV,” by Robert Silverberg [short story]
  • “Try to Remember!” by Frank Herbert [short novel]
  • Metropolis, by Thea von Harbou [novel]


SMFS Member Publishing News: Sacrifice by Chuck Brownman

SMFS list member Chuck Brownman’s short story, Sacrifice, was published at Punk Noir Magazine. You can read the piece for free online here.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Friday, May 17, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Woman by Merrilee Robson

SMFS list member Merrilee Robson’s short story, The Woman, was published at Punk Noir Magazine. You can read the piece for free online here.

SMFS Members Published in Detectives, Sleuths, & Nosy Neighbors

Today is publication day for the anthology, Detectives, Sleuths, & Nosy Neighbors. Published by Inkd Publishing LLC, the anthology is available from Amazon and other vendors. The SMFS list members that reported their stories in the book are:


J. F. Benedetto with “A Corpse in the Martian Sand.”


N.M. Cedeño with “The Ghostly Lady's Curse.”


Tracy Falenwolfe with “Secret Family Recipie.”


Veronica Leigh with “God's Truth.”


Tiffany Seitz with “On the Rocks.”


Amazon Description:

Do you love mystery stories? Suspense?

Do you need to know who done it?

Detectives, Sleuths, and Nosy Neighbors is a mystery anthology with short stories which range between the classic nosy neighbor and detective to a space sleuth.

Curated and edited by A Balsamo, these tales twist and turn until the very end.

Many of the authors have published books available, so you might just find a new favorite to read.

Stories by

A.R.R. Ash

Mark Beard

L.N. Hunter

Mary Sophie Filicetti

Tiffany Seitz

J.F. Benedetto

N.M. Cedeño

Cassondra Windwalker

Joe Giordano

Kay Hanifen

Robert Richter

Tracy Falenwolfe

Veronica Leigh

Michelle Kaseler

Kevin A Davis


Thursday, May 16, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Weight Unsaid by M. E. Proctor

SMFS list member M. E. Proctor’s short story, Weight Unsaid, was published at A Thin Slice Of Anxiety. You can read the piece for free online here.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Never Again by Jen Hartzell

SMFS list member Jen Hartzell’s short story, Never Again, was published at Punk Noir Magazine. You can read the piece for free online here. Jen Hartzell also reported that this is her first ever published story. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Guessing Games by John M. Floyd

SMFS list member John M. Floyd’s short story, Guessing Games, appears in the May 20th issue of Woman's World. The issue is available in grocery stores, newsstands, and at Woman’s World.

SMFS Member Publishing News: Because the Baby by M. E. Proctor


SMFS list member M. E. Proctor’s short story, Because the Baby, was published at Punk Noir Magazine. You can read the piece for free online here.

SMFS Members Published in Stolen Cars: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem Book #18


Today is publication day for Stolen Cars: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem Book #18. Published by Knotted Road Press, the read is available at MysteryCrimeandMayhem.Com as well as Amazon and other vendors.  The SMFS list members that reported being in the issue are:


Joslyn Chase with “Always Gonna Happen.”


Diana Deverell with “Cool Ride.”


David H. Hendrickson with “Dodging Bullets.”


Annie Reed with “Be Someone.”


Publisher Description

Take a joy ride with a woman desperate to escape her past. Or maybe deal with car thieves who keep stealing your car for an ever increasing ransom. Maybe delve into the mystery of a car that isn’t really stolen–it just disappears for a while. Or get into a rideshare car that appears to be driven by a zombie (if you dare…)

These tales of stolen cars, the thieves behind them, and what these theft actually represents, are sure to delight readers of all kinds. From the twisted minds of the MCM syndicate.

SMFS Member Publishing News: The Orphan by Sylvia M. Warsh


Today is publication day for SMFS list member Sylvia M. Warsh’s new book, The Orphan. Published by Auctus Publishers, the read is available at Amazon and other vendors.


Publisher Description:

Washington DC 1844: When his mother is found drowned in the Potomac, 15-year-old Samuel Evans is devastated and falls gravely ill, saved by an experimental drug given to him by the gruff Dr. James Pyper who developed it from an Amazonian plant. The drug makes Samuel so sensitive to his environment that he can communicate with animals. He sets out to prove his mother didn’t commit suicide, helped by encounters with numerous animals.

The doctor’s childless wife, Martha, convinces her husband to adopt Samuel. He discovers that their house is a stop on the Underground Railroad and that Martha helps runaway slaves.

While investigating his mother’s murder, Samuel’s life is threatened, he falls in love, he dispatches a bee hive to punish the man he suspects, and tragedy ensues. He is kicked out of the Pypers’ house, with nowhere to go. During this painful time, he uncovers lies and betrayal from people he trusts before learning the truth about his parents.

The Orphan is set against the backdrop of slavery and the 1844 presidential election that determined whether Texas would enter the union as a slave state.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

SMFS Members Published in Black Cat Weekly #141


SMFS list members are published in Black Cat Weekly #141. Published by Wildside Press, the issue is available here in digital format. The members that reported their stories are: 


Vinnie Hansen “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” 


Veronica Leigh with “A Slice of Life.” 


Publisher Description:


Welcome to Black Cat Weekly.

   If you like some of the series we’ve been publishing, you’re in for a treat this time. We have a new Smith Sisters story by Veronica Leigh, a Sexton Blake story by Hal Meredith, a Johnny Liddell novel by Frank Kane, and a Jules de Grandin story by Seabury Quinn.

   I don’t want to slight our non-series contents—it’s quite an all-star lineup, with tales such modern masters as Aeryn Rudell and Vinnie Hansen (courtesy of Acquiring Editors Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman), plus classics by Robert Silverberg & Randall Garrett, Lester del Rey, and Gore Vidal. And, of course, a solve-it-yourself mystery by Hal Charles.

   Here’s the complete lineup—


Cover: Ron Miller


Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:

  • “A Slice of Life,” by Veronica Leigh [short story, the Smith Sisters series]
  • “Every Trick in the Book,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
  • “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” by Vinnie Hansen [short story]
  • “The Clue of the Ash,” by Hal Meredith [short story, Sexton Blake series]
  • Green Light for Death, by Frank Kane [novel, Johnny Liddell series]


Science Fiction & Fantasy:

  • “Time On My Hands,” by Aeryn Rudel [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
  • “The Girl from Bodies, Inc.,” by Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett [short story]
  • “Whom the Gods Love,” by Lester del Rey [short story]
  • “Body and Soul,” by Seabury Quinn [short story, Jules de Grandin series]
  • Messiah, by Gore Vidal [novel]

Saturday, May 11, 2024

2024 SMFS Member Anthony Award Nominees

Earlier this week, several SMFS list members were nominated for the 2024 Anthony Awards in various categories. The winners will be announced at Bouchercon: Nashville on Saturday evening, August 31, 2024. The full list of nominees and more information can be found on the Facebook announcement. The SMFS list members that reported on the SMFS list their nominated books and short stories are:


Best Anthology

Here in the Dark: Stories by Megan Lucas (Shotgun Honey Books, July 2023)


Happiness Is a Warm Gun: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of The Beatles, Editor Josh Pachter (Down & Out Books, October 2023).


The Adventure of the Castle Thief and Other Expeditions and Indiscretions by Art Taylor (Crippen and Landru, February 2023).


School of Hard Knox: Stories That Break Father Ronald Knox's Commandments for Crime Fiction. Edited by SMFS list members Donna Andrews, Greg Herren, and Art Taylor (Crippen and Landru, August 2023).


Best Short Story

Barb Goffman for “Real Courage” (Black Cat Mystery Magazine #14, Wildside Press, October 2023).


James D.F. Hannah for “Knock” (Playing Games, Editor Lawrence Block, Subterranean Press, July 2023)


Dru Ann Love and Kristopher Zgorski for “Ticket To Ride.” (Happiness Is a Warm Gun: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of The Beatles, Editor Josh Pachter, Down & Out Books,  October 2023).  


Best Hardcover Novel

James L'Etoile for Face of Greed: A Novel (Oceanview Publishing, November 2023)


Best Paperback Original

James D.F. Hannah for Because the Night: A Henry Malone Novel (Down & Out Books, June 2023)


Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition 2024 Winner: Olga Popova by Susan Breen


SMFS congratulates SMFS list member Susan Breen for her win in the Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition 2024. Per the website, “CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great mystery story.” Susan Breen’s winning story is titled, Olga Popova. More information can be found at The Crime Writers’ Association.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

SMFS Member Publishing News: Pushing Joe Carter by John Floyd


SMFS list member John Floyd’s short story, Pushing Joe Carter, appears in the just released Strand Magazine: Spring 2024 issue. The issue is available at the website and from other vendors.



Strand Magazine: Unpublished Rod Serling Short Story

(Strand Magazine: Featuring an unpublished Rod Serling short story, fiction by Adam Hamdy, John Floyd, Vasa Clarke, and exclusive interviews with Robert Littell and Laurie R. King)

Rod Serling’s unpublished short story “First Squad, First Platoon” headlines The Strand Magazine’s latest issue. Written after Serling returned from World War II, the story preceded his television career and draws from his experiences fighting with the 511th Airborne in the Philippines, where he witnessed some of the most intense combat of the entire conflict and the horrific deaths of many of his fellow soldiers. Serling wrote this story in his early twenties, yet it carries a maturity beyond his years. In terse prose, he delivers the immediacy, sense of place, and cutting dialogue you’d expect from Hemingway, Crane, or Dos Passos. It’s a powerful, unvarnished look at war in all its brutality—an unforgettable study of ordinary people in extraordinarily hellish situations. This unique issue also includes forewords to the story by Rod Serling’s daughters, Jodi and Anne, who provide context to the story and deeper insight into the man behind the words.

Also in this issue, as coincidence would have it, the inimitable John Floyd offers us “Pushing Joe Carter,” a Twilight Zone-esque tale of man’s inhumanity to man with—you guessed it—a twist at the end. Adam Hamdy and Emily Fox show us the psychological toll a life in law enforcement can take on the psyches of those sworn to serve and protect in “The Fear in Their Eyes.” And Vasa Clarke has turned Holmes and Watson’s attention to an unlikely case involving veterinary medicine and national security in “The Adventure of the Ayrshire

We have an exclusive interview with espionage novelist Robert Littell. In a career spanning over half a century, Littell has elevated the genre into the realm of serious literature with scores of novels that have earned comparisons to the works of John le Carré, Graham Greene, Len Deighton, and Eric Ambler. He is indisputably the modern-day master of the literary spy novel. Throughout his writing career, Littell has used the genre of espionage fiction to explore and say something about the human condition. One of the hallmarks of his novels are his character-driven plots. He has a keen understanding of the men and women who live in the shadows where moral ambiguity reigns, and his complex characters often find themselves struggling to hold onto the last vestiges of their humanity amid the deception required by their work, as they fight for or against the inexorable, heartless tide of the realpolitik.

We also have an exclusive with Laurie R. King, known for her Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, among others. Throughout a prolific three-decade career, King has leveraged her extensive knowledge of history and literature to produce some of the most authentic historical novels of our time, not to mention several bestsellers set in the modern day, winning over legions of readers around the world.

As the weather warms, and benches and beaches beckon, you’ll no doubt need the best new books. Storm Watch by C. J. Box, Independence Square by Martin Cruz Smith, and The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen are but a few of the many gems you’ll find in our reviews section.