2017’s More Realistic Holiday Newsletter


After reading a few glowing family newsletters, I am more inspired than ever to continue the tradition of the Yardley’s More Realistic Holiday Newsletter. If you ever wanted to see how we really live, this is the way to do it. And here we go!

2017 started with a bang and ended with a whimper. LUKE travels constantly for work, leaving disasters in his wake whenever he is gone. He comes home to scorpion stings, town massacres, and a nearly-blind wife. He’s leaving again in January, so please stock up on emergency essentials and hunker down until he returns and the cosmos properly realigns.

MERCEDES acquired an awesome new agent, a life-threatening scorpion sting, and acute iritis in one eye, leaving her with a blown pupil, vision difficulties, and worsening her anxiety problem. One of these things was heartily celebrated with cake.

NIKOLAI is now in high school. The best part, besides his aid Miss Marci, is that he can wear anything he wants instead of a school uniform. Because of his favorite shirt, he is now called Commander Chimposwki.

NINA cut her hair short and is constantly mistaken for a boy. In fact, only today her substitute teacher called her “he” several times until Nina said, “My name literally means girl.” The sarcasm is strong with this one. I’m so proud to call her my son.

LILIA is afraid of: the dark, the bathroom, being alone, scary movies, not-so-scary movies, sleeping alone, sleeping by someone, hotel rooms, being late for school, being too early for school, dogs, and songs with the lyrics changed.

MARSH CAT is a magical thing who loves to rub his fluffy, fluffy self against us so we break out into hives and rashes. He’s the most stable member of the family, and knows it.

RUSH THE TURTLE hates everyone and everything, except Pierce Brosnan. He’s the only one she’s come out of her log for. She flips everyone else off with all four feet.

LAS VEGAS was shot up by an insane man with unfathomable weapons. We were not injured, but were in that area not long before with our ten-year-old daughter. I saw the best and worst of humanity that night. We are #VegasStrong.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May you be well! And may you write your own, realistic holiday newsletters so we can share them. ❤


Happy Miss Murder


I was asked to show a picture of myself where I was truly happy, and I chose this one. It was a Sunday. I wore a red dress to church, and I came home to be with my family, whom I love more than life. I have glittery walls in my bedroom and an original The Last Unicorn movie poster signed by Peter S. Beagle. Life was good, and it shows.

Do you have any pictures that show you at your happiest? I would love to see!

Gamut Closes Its Doors


This is an announcement I hoped we’d never have to make, but unfortunately it is true. Gamut Magazine is being forced to close. While the initial Kickstarter was successful, the money raised was only enough to last for a year. We wanted to pay not only fairly, but generously, for our fiction and art. We were counting on renewing subscriptions and the success of Gamut’s many side ventures (editing services, online classes, etc) to keep the magazine afloat. We scrambled, worked our fingers to the bone, and even hoped for some mystical Hail Mary, but it wasn’t to be.

I’m forever grateful to be involved with this project. The quality and care put into it has been stellar. The work we published has literally brought tears to my eyes because of the depth and beauty it contained. More than that, I have met wonderful people who fill in the missing pieces of my soul. I’m privileged to know them and eternally proud of the quality of people and pieces we have published.

I wish success and joy to all of you. ❤

Apex Is Having A Black Friday Sale!



Apex Publications is having a huge Black Friday sale, and this basically means your Christmas shopping is done. From now until Monday, everything in the Apex catalogue will be 30% off with the code CHEER17. They put out beautiful books full of dark wonder, so if you aren’t familiar with the Apex authors, this is a wonderful chance to treat yourself.

But wait! There’s more! Starting on Friday, Apex will run a series of four bundles that can be purchased together for huge savings. For example, I’m in the 2017 bundle with my book Beautiful Sorrows.

Beautiful Sorrows Cover (Final Front with Blurb)


There is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you–but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twenty-seven short tales full of devastation, death, longing, and the shining ribbon of hope that binds them all together.

While Beautiful Sorrows retails at Apex for $13.99, it will be sold in a bundle of 10 books for $100, or you can pick up the digital bundle for $25. The entire bundle inclues:

Throne of the Bastards by Brian Keene & Steven L. Shrewsbury
Everything That’s Underneath by Kristi DeMeester
Entertaining Demons by Daniel I. Russell
Mars Girls by Mary Turzillo
Shine Your Light on Me by Lee Thomas
Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt
Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley
The Wicked by James Newman
Ugly as Sin by James Newman
Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem

There are also three other bundles, which you can see here, here, and here.

Remember that the bundle sales run Friday through Monday, but the 30% off CHEER17 code is active now.

Happy reading. 🙂



Where Nightmares Come From! And A Reading!

Today is the launch of Crystal Lake’s WHERE NIGHTMARES COME FROM anthology! In celebration, I did a reading from part of my included essay, titled “Bringing An Idea To Life Through Language.”  I hope you enjoy.

It’s finally here! WHERE NIGHTMARES COME FROM: THE ART OF STORYTELLING IN THE HORROR GENRE is now available in paperback and Kindle: http://getbook.at/Nightmares1

“Dip in to any section of this book and you will learn something. High praise, but a true statement.” – William F. Nolan, Logan’s Run

“Not since The Art of War has there been a book more suited to lead you, the storyteller, into (literary) battle.” – Jess Landry

Featuring in-depth articles and interviews by Joe R. Lansdale (Hap & Leonard series), Clive Barker (Books of Blood), John Connolly (Charlie Parker series), Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King (IT), Christopher Golden (Ararat), Charlaine Harris (Midnight, Texas), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger series), Kevin J. Anderson (Tales of Dune), Craig Engler (Z Nation), and many more.

Don’t miss out…
Amazon: http://getbook.at/Nightmares1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/…/36544568-where-nightmares-come-…

Follow the Where Nightmares Come From Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NightmareAnthology/) for regular updates, sneak peeks, links, interviews, and more. Or subscribe to the Crystal Lake newsletter: http://eepurl.com/xfuKP



Come to the Painted Stories Reading Today!

It’s one of my very favorite reading series in Vegas. Local authors read their work while local artists paint the scene on canvas right in front of your eyes. It’s insanely cool.


Brian Rouff, Eric James Miller, and I will be reading some spooky stories to celebrate this dark time of year. I’ll be reading my short story “A Personal Apocalypse”, which is the only Mercedes M. Yardley zombie story to date. It has been called “ethical,” “frightening in its relevancy”, and “hilarious.” So. You don’t want to miss that. 😉

We’ll be signing and selling books afterward, if you’d like to stay and chat.

It’s today, Sunday October 22, from 2-4 pm.

College of Southern Nevada

6375 West Charleston Blvd

K Building, K 101 Auditorium.

There’s a suggested $5 donation at the door. I hope to see you there. And eeeeee! Paintings!