Happy Anniversary, Beautiful Sorrows! And a Super Apex Sale!


Five years ago I published my first book, Beautiful Sorrows, from Shock Totem Publications. Now it’s being re-released from Apex, and I couldn’t be more pleased! They’re running a killer deal where you can get all five books from Shock-Totem-Turned-Apex authors in the Shock Bundle.

Shock Bundle from Apex Book Company. 5 books to thrill! $10 digital and $50 trade paper back.

The Wicked by James Newman
Ugly as Sin by James Newman
Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley
Shine Your Light on Me by Lee Thompson
Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt

You can buy the bundle HERE. Thank you for the love and support, and happy anniversary to my very first foray into being published. It’s been a beautiful and wild five years!

Pimp a Friend Friday: John Boden and Mercedes M. Yardley


You know I adore John Boden. He was one of the original founders of Shock Totem, and was such a wonderful guy to work with on staff. One day he approached me and asked if I’d read this wonderful story he was working on, called “Thief.” As time went on, the title was changed to “Loving the Girl with X’s for Eyes.” He asked me if I wanted to contribute to it, and thus was born the most enjoyable collaboration I’ve ever taken part of. We worked on it every day, or we didn’t work on it for months. He’d write a line, I’d write a line, or we’d write a…well, almost a chapter, but it doesn’t have chapters. It’s gentle and jagged and full of love and horror. This was the piece I’d work on when I couldn’t even stand to look at anything else. And now it will be published later this year.

I’m delighted to announce that Omnium Gatherum picked up our story, which is now called “Detritus in Love.” It’s a dark, lovely, bizarre novelette about a boy who never should have been and things that should not be.

author2John Boden lives a stone’s throw from Three Mile Island with his wonderful wife and  sons. A baker by day, he spends his off time writing or working on Shock Totem. He likes Diet Pepsi and horseradish cheese and  sports ferocious sideburns. While his output as a writer is fairly small, it has a bit of a reputation for being unique. His work has appeared in Shock Totem, Splatterpunk, Blight Digest  and Lamplight  as well as the following anthologies Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen and the Criminally Insane, Once Upon An Apocalypse,Robbed Of Sleep Vol 1, and Borderlands 6. His not-really-for-children children’s book, Dominoes is a pretty cool thing or so people say.  You can track him down on the Facebook.

author1Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair.  She was a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine and currently works with Gamut, a new neo-noir magazine. Mercedes is the author of many diverse works, including Beautiful Sorrows, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and the Bone Angel trilogy. She recently won the Bram Stoker Award® for her story Little Dead Red.  Mercedes lives and works in Las Vegas, and you can reach her atwww.mercedesyardley.com.

I Had An Epiphany. And Saying Goodbye.



This epiphany cause me to shift my world.

I came down with The Mother of All Plagues, and it left me totaled. I spent days lying in bed with nothing to do but think. And I realized a few things.

I spend too much time making do instead of going for what I want.

I have too many responsibilities. It’s crippling me.  The stress is causing physical symptoms as well as emotional.

I can’t remember the last time I read for pleasure.

Most importantly, it’s time for me to take the big step of living my dreams. It’s time for me to take myself seriously and focus on becoming a full time novelist, instead of working the novel in around everything else.

In order to do that, I had to make some difficult decisions. Revamp my life in order to switch the good for the better. I had to figure out what was right for me. I cut many things out of my life. This one was the hardest.

I have left Shock Totem Magazine. It was the most difficult decision that I’ve made in a very long time. The staff at ST have become my family, and I love them madly. But I realized that leaving doesn’t mean I love them any less. I’ll still play on the forums and join the contests. I’ll still write stories with John and razz Ken and coo over their sweet Baby Z with Sarah. But I will no longer be spending time on the magazine. I’ll be dedicating it to my own work.

It’s hard to leave. ST is part of my identity. But hopefully this will help unlock the things that I want out of the rest of my life.

I love you guys.

An Interview! Yay!

Mercedes Yardley

You know how much I enjoy Lee Thompson, both his work and his personality. He’s just a nice, nice guy, and talented, to boot. I know few people who work harder.  I came across him through Shock Totem, and his “Beneath the Weeping Willow” and “The River” are some of my very favorite things that we ever published.

Lee was kind enough to interview me, and it was so much fun! Please stop by and take a peek! You can find it here.


Free Shock Totem on Kindle. Every Day This Week.

Tired of happy, fluffy bunnies and darling little baby chicks? How about some horror? If you haven’t had a chance to read Shock Totem, or even if you have, this week is the perfect time to pick up the mag for free on your Kindle!

Click the links below to download!Monday/Tuesday: Shock Totem 1: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted
Tuesday/Wednesday: Shock Totem 2: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted
Wednesday/Thursday: Shock Totem 3: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted
Thursday/Friday: Shock Totem 4: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted
Friday/Saturday: Shock Totem 5: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted

Last time we ran this promo, we had over 10,000 downloads. We would LOVE to hit that number again! If you have a chance to download it, please do. And would you terribly mind passing this on? Read us, read us, read us! 😉

Thanks so much, my darling ones. I appreciate it.

Also, I’m taking a Facebook hiatus for the month of April (I know! Crazy talk!) but I will still maintain the blog. Hopefully this will help me update the blog even more! So. Yay. THE BLOG!

Have a lovely day! And download us! Give Shock Totem as gifts to your granny! Dear old Grannies love ST.  😉

Oh, and the print edition of Issue #6 is now for sale. GORGEOUS. Absolutely. And for some reason, it’s selling for two dollars cheaper than normal. Grab it while you can!

And as always, you can pick up Beautiful Sorrows, too, which is also on sale for four dollars off! Woo hoo!

Hooray! A Wonderful Review of BS!

I will never again write a book with “BS” as initials. Let me just be clear on that.

TT Zuma wrote a wonderful review for Beautiful Sorrows over at Horror World. He said: “Mercedes M. Yardley might just be one of the finest and most imaginative storytellers since Neil Gaiman, she is that good.”

What an honor! It really made my day. Thank you, TT! I’m so glad you liked it!

Won’t you go and read it? You can find it here. Also, it was my birthday last week, so maybe we should all celebrate by going and picking up a copy of BS?

I’m sorry. I promised Ken of Shock Totem that I’d make that plug. I’m a terrible marketer, apparently. Bad Mercedes! Bad!

Anyway, I miss everybody! I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like. I’ll try to manage my time better. Lots to update on. Things are going well here at the Yardley household. Today the Easter Bunny dropped by. Pictures to come later.

Have a lovely day, friends!







Shock Totem’s January 2013 Flash Fiction Contest!


What are you doing on New Year’s day? How about entering a free contest that could possibly get you published in Shock Totem?

Every other month we host a flash fiction contest at the Shock Totem forum.  The next contest begins on Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

Participants have one week to write a story based on a prompt that we provide. The prompt must be integral to the story. This requirement, we hope, forces writers to pen a brand-new tale rather than submit some previously written or reworked story.

When the week is up, the stories are anonymously posted in the hidden contest forum. The entrants then have three weeks to read each story and vote on their top three. Additionally, most give feedback on each story, thus ensuring everyone gets something out of the contest.

The final contest of the year is in September. Once that winner is announced, all five individual winners throughout the year will be given to a neutral judge, who will then pick his or her favorite. That story will be published in the next issue of Shock Totem!

If interested, sign up here. It’s a good time.

Beautiful Sorrows Is 99 Cents! Until Wednesday Only!

Edward Scissorhands says you should buy Beautiful Sorrows.

Edward Scissorhands says you should buy Beautiful Sorrows.

Things You Can Do With a Dollar

1. Leave a tip that will earn you a dirty look from your server.

2. Buy an ugly pair of gold(ish) earrings at the Dollar Store.

3. Eat it and weep.

4. Look at the fast food dollar menu and fume because nothing is a buck after tax.

5. Buy your copy of Beautiful Sorrows! Support an author! Support Shock Totem Magazine! Give yourself (or somebody else) something wonderful to read!

So!  The Kindle version of my short story collection Beautiful Sorrows is currently on sale for 99 cents.  That’s right! The paperback sells for $13.99. The ebook usually sells for $2.99, but we have a Super Special Holiday Sale going on until Wednesday.  Yay!  YAAAAY!


I’ve received some wonderful reviews by people who took time out of their busy schedule to not only read the book, but also to review it. I can’t tell you how wonderful that is! Beautiful Sorrows currently has a 4.5 star average on Amazon.  I’ve been compared to Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Kelly Link, and Ray Bradbury.  How absolutely humbling and amazing! Does that sound worth a dollar to you? 😀


Also, the holidays are upon us, and I know there’s always a scramble to find gifts for the people on your list. Kindle ebooks are amazingly simple to gift. All you need is the email that your recipient uses for their Amazon account.  Fun, frugal, and definitely better than anything you’d find at the dollar store.

If you’re interested, the link is here: BEAUTIFUL SORROWS FOR 99 CENTS!  

Thank you! And please spread the word. Happy Holidays!