Category Archives: Acceptances

Time for a Big Fat Squee!: I’ve signed a contract to publish Call of the Sea!

Inkspell Banner

I am so elated to be able to finally announce I have signed a contract to publish my debut novel. My fantasy romance, The Call of the Sea will be published by Inkspell Publishing with a tentative release date of June 2012.

Inkspell is a fledgling publisher, having launched in January of this year, but I am really hoping for good things.

The ink is barely dry on the contract, so I don’t have a ton of information yet, but after having to remain hush-hush about everything for a while now, it feels damned good to be able to shout it from the roof tops.

So,  SQUEE!!

Wish me luck 😛

Recent Acceptance News

I haven’t had an opportunity to rave about my recent good news due to some major busy-ness in my family life. Rather than bore you with the details, I will get right to the heart of the matter.

I have received two acceptances this week for flash pieces I submitted. Cue fanfare and confetti!

The first, Parades , is a flash story about a little girl, Emma, who must come to grips with the true purpose of the parade her mother tells her they are going to attend. Parades will be featured in Daily Flash 2012: 366 Days of Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition) being published by Pill Hill Press. The anthology should be release in November 2011.

The second story, Jason’s Obsession, is a a flash horror story about a young boy named Jason, who has an unhealthy obsession with fire. The piece will be featured in Daily Frights 2012: 366 Days of Frightening Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition) also being published by Pill Hill Press and due for release this November.

Two stories, two anthologies and two publishing credits. Hooray for October!!

The beauty here is there are 366 stories in each book and quite a few of my fellow writers and friends from the critique group I belong to will also have their stories feature. Congrats to one and all. I can’t wait to get my hands on copies of these upcoming anthologies.

I will be sure to post up the cover art when it becomes available.

Acceptance News: Daily Flash 2012: 366 Days of Flash Fiction

I share the bad news when it comes, so I thought I should also share the good news as well. Only fair, right?

I received an email yesterday that one of my flash (less than 500 words) stories, Parades,  has been accepted for inclusion in Daily Flash 2012: 366 Days of Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition) being published by Pill Hill Press. This is a “for the love” collection, so no monetary payment or free copy, but it will be released in paperback and ebook formats somewhere around Nov. 2011.

I will keep you all posted as things progress and let you all know where you can get copies when it is actually published.

NOW AVAILABLE: Cutlass and Musket, Tales of Piratical Skullduggery

This collection of pirate adventures is now available in paperback (e-book formats coming soon). The anthology features one of my short stories,  titled Lost Hope. I have not yet received my contributor copy, so havent read the other included stories, but I am really looking forward to it.


Arrgh, you scallywags. Rip open these pages to find yerself lost in the world of pirates and their misdeeds. Join them as they travel to misty islands of fortune, sail the seven seas for mysterious items, kill those that betrayed them, and lay siege to monasteries. This collection of new work brings you 18 short stories and a new novella by M.S. Gardner. But beware…if ye escape Davy Jones’ Locker, ye may still face the plank.

Here is a small excerpt from my story, LOST HOPE:

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean — August 1649

     Sailors shouted to each other, their feet scuffling across the deck as their swords clashed in battle. The air in the lady hole reeked of gunpowder and death. Thankfully, the cannonballs, which had been smashing into the ship’s hull with regular, deafening precision, had stopped. A young couple huddled together in the dark. The man wrapped his arms around the woman, who feverishly rocked a swaddled bundle. She cast a wide-eyed glance at her husband as the infant wailed its dismay at the top of her lungs.

     “If you don’t hush her, Margaret, they’ll find us,” the man said.

     The woman rocked faster. “I’m trying.”

     The door to the tiny compartment screeched open. The couple squinted toward the portal. A tall shadow filled the doorway, backlit by bright sunlight. Green eyes glowed from the dark form, its thick voice echoed through the tiny closet.

     “What do we have here? Looks like a family of bilge rats.”

     Untangling himself from his wife, the man stepped out first, blocking access to his family. “Please, sir. I’m a man of means. Allow me to pay safe passage for my family.

     The woman released a startled scream as her husband dropped to the deck with a sickening thud. Blood gushed from the wide slice across his throat; his unseeing eyes stared at the azure sky.

     Rough hands pulled the hysterical woman from her hiding spot, and dragged her, kicking, onto the deck. Tears streaked down her pale cheeks. She closed her eyes and rocked the crying child, her voice cracking as she whispered repeatedly, “though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.”

     One of the deckhand stepped forward and placed a hand on his captain’s arm. “Cap’n, let me and Joe take the baby back to The Albatross. Elsa’s been waitin’ a long time for a child of ‘er own. ‘Sides, the wee one shouldn’t be witness ta this.”

     Nicor’s eyes narrowed as his gaze fell to the hand on his sleeve. Catching the look, Matthews quickly released the Captain’s arm.

     Nicor’s lips curled into a dark smile. He nodded. “Aye, Pops, take the baby to her new mother while I get acquainted with this lovely prize.” The captain’s gaze swept back to the woman huddled on the deck.

     The sailor squatted and tried to pull the crying bundle from the rocking woman. At his touch, the woman jerked away, locking her bleak eyes on him. “Please, keep her safe for me.”

     Pops nodded. “Aye, miss, ye have me word.”

     The woman let out a sigh and released her hold.

     Pops rose, nodded to his captain, and took the whimpering child away. As he crossed the deck with the baby, the woman drew a hidden dagger from beneath her skirts and plunged it into Nicor’s heartless chest.

     The pirate captain’s rich laughter filled the air as he pulled the useless weapon from his body. He glared at the wide-eyed woman. “Ah, biscuit, you are really going to wish you hadn’t done that.”

     Pops nodded to his brother, who held a rope at the rail. Cradling the child close to his heart, he took the rope and swung across the space between the two ships. Pops Matthews landed deftly on the deck of The Albatross as the strangled cries of the woman’s tortured death filled the salt-kissed air.

How to Purchase this Anthology:

Pill Hill Press Affiliate Book Shop

Barnes and Noble

March: In Like a Lion

Or so the saying goes.  Welp, the Good News Train is marching through my life this March.

First, my cousin Gary John Mercer, just returned from a tour in Afghanistan safe and sound, and that is cause for celelbration in its own right.

From a writer perspective, I have had two fantastic things happen this month.

The first of those is learning that a short story I wrote has been accepted for inclusion in an anthology to be published this year. I had been somewhat relucatant to post about it on my blog (and used a pen name) as the story genre is erotic horror. NOT for everyone–certainly not my kids. Even the cover is too racy for PG rated audiences.  For those that do enjoy that sort of story — and of course it was damned good–there is a link on the right side of my blog under publications to the website where it will be available for purchase once it is complete.

The anthology also features offerings from two of the ladies in my favorite critique group. (Stella Berkley and Lila Shaw) Check them out.

The other bit of good news, I just got this evening.  A short story I wrote placed 2nd in a contest with about fifty entries. *BIG SMILES* Very excited about that. The honor came with a small monetary prize, which is an added bonus.

I’m still trying to decide if I want to post it here or on my website or hold onto it and see if I can submit it to a magazine or something of that nature. I know one thing for sure.  The future is looking bright these days.

It must be spring!

Success! My First Acceptance

I got the email today, and after a good thirty minutes of “Oh my God” and “Woohoo”, I am still on cloud nine. My short story, Lost Hope was accepted for publication in a pirate anthology called, Cutlass and Musket: Tales of Piratical Skullduggery being put out by Wicked East Press.  The projected publication date is February 2011.

No monetary payment, but I do get a contributor’s copy of the anthology when it is printed, and for a first acceptance, that is just fine by me. 🙂

Just can’t wipe the smile off my face.

Here is a copy of the book’s cover art:

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