Free Day! Read a Free Short and Download Nameless!


What do you do when someone you love goes truly dark? I have a free short story titled “Waves and Darkness” up at Pen of the Damned. Why don’t you stop by and give it a read?


Also, today is the last day to pick up my first novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes for free. Want a fun and creepy summer read? This is the one for you, and you can download it here. Happy summer!



“Loving You Darkly” is a Bram Stoker Award Nominee!

Oh, my friends. I can’t even tell you how it feels. I guess I’d say it feels like SHOCK, and being dumbfounded, and so grateful at the same time. My short story “Loving You Darkly” which was published at Tethered By Letters made it to the final ballot, so it’s officially a Bram Stoker Award-nominated story. Out of all of the wonderful, wonderful stories that came out this year (I read hundreds upon hundreds for Gamut Magazine), it is truly an honor to make the top five on the ballot.

As a special aside, my collection Beautiful Sorrows was originally going to be called Loving You Darkly,  but it didn’t fit the collection quite as well as I wanted. Believe me when I say this story was a long time coming.

“Loving You Darkly” is available to read online. It’s dark and lovely and full of pain and hope. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

I’ve read most of the works mentioned below, and they’re really quite good. I’d suggest adding them to your reading list! The other nominees are:


Superior Achievement in a Novel

Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin’s Press)

King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner)

Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco)

Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)

Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media)

Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing)

Hayward, Matt – What Do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press)

Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books)

Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

French, Gillian – The Door to January (Islandport Press)

Leveen, Tom – Hellworld (Simon Pulse)

Liggett, Kim – The Last Harvest (Tor Teen)

Lukavics, Amy – The Ravenous (Harlequin Teen)

Porter, Sarah – When I Cast Your Shadow (Tor Teen)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Carey, Mike and Arvind, Ethan David – Darkness Visible (IDW)

Duffy, Damian and Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Abrams ComicArts)

Ferris, Emil – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Hickman, Jonathan – The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics)

Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 2: The Blood (Image Comics)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Edelman, Scott – Faking it Until Forever Comes (Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them) (Written Backwards)

Jones, Stephen Graham – Mapping the Interior (

Kiernan, Caitlín R. – Agents of Dreamland (

Taylor, Lucy – Sweetlings (

Waggoner, Tim – A Kiss of Thorns (DarkFuse)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Bailey, Michael – “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” (Tales from the Lake Vol. 4) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Chambers, James – “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills” (Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2) (Cutting Block Books)

Mannetti, Lisa – “Apocalypse Then” (Never Fear: The Apocalypse) (13Thirty Books)

Neugebauer, Annie – “So Sings the Siren” (Apex Magazine #101) (Apex Publications)

Yardley, Mercedes M. – “Loving You Darkly” (F(r)iction Magazine #8) (Tethered by Letters)  This is me! Ahhhh!

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow)

Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone)

Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications)

Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing)

McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Del Toro, Guillermo and Taylor, Vanessa – The Shape of Water (TSG Entertainment, Double Dare You Productions)

Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: MadMax, Episode 02:01: Chapter One (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)

Frost, Mark and Lynch, David – Twin Peaks, Part 8 (Rancho Rosa Partnership, Inc.)

Palmer, Chase, Fukunaga, Cary, and Dauberman, Gary – It (New Line Cinema)

Peele, Jordan – Get Out (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment)

Shyamalan, M. Night – Split (Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse Productions)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)

Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)

Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)

Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Brittany, Michele – Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (McFarland)

Brooks, Kinitra D. – Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (Rutgers University Press)

Hendrix, Grady. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books)

Jones, Stephen – The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books)

Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre – (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Frazier, Robert and Boston, Bruce – Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Manzetti, Alessandro – No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press)

Sng, Christina – A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Desert Companion: Mercedes M. Yardley’s “My Space”


The Desert Companion ran a piece on my writing space in their December issue.  Scott Dickensheets did a write-up of all of my various odds and ends while Brent Holmes threw himself on the floor to take some pictures of my teeny, tiny little area. My writing space is literally the corner of my bedroom. I found myself apologizing.

“I’m sorry it’s so little.”

“I don’t always write here. Sometimes it’s on the couch or I put my feet up on the kitchen table. Does this make me a liar?”

“This house is a shoebox. I want to laugh when you use the word ‘space’.”

But when all is said and done, it’s my happy little area and I love it. Each little item fills me with joy. It’s truly my personal corner of the world.

51wLPTnSRNLI hope you’ll check out My Space and enjoy, and also consider purchasing a copy of the charity copy Vegas Strong. I donated a story titled “His Girl Friday” and the proceeds all go to the Code Green Campaign, which is a first responder-oriented mental health advocacy and education organization. We’re still feeling the effects of the mass shooting in Vegas, and I don’t now if those effects will ever cease. This is a small way I, and you, can help. 🙂

Have a wonderful day! Happy writing and reading.

This Is Horror Episode 120…With Outtakes!


This is the second  part of the two part interview with This Is Horror. We discussed Gamut, rejections, and fairytales. Also, exploding Coke Zero bottles, selling organs on the black market, and about ten minutes of outtakes. There was a lot of laughter. The three of us were giggly things.

The thing with interviews is that you never quite know the direction they’ll take. 😉

I’d like to thank This Is Horror for being so generous with their time with me. You can listen to both parts of the Interview and a reading of my short story “Luna e Volk” below. I hope you enjoy!

Episode 119: Mercedes M. Yardley talks about NaNoWriMo, The Poetry of Language, and Beautiful Horror.

Episode 120: Mercedes M. Yardley talks about Gamut Magazine, Rejections, and Fairy Tales

Episode 122: Mercedes M. Yardley read Luna e Volk.


My Darlings, May I Read You A Story?


Last night was a crazy night with SWAT going after the people two houses down. We heard megaphones and sirens and what could have been flash bombs, but the girls and I were huddled together on the bottom bunk, telling stories to distract ourselves from the fear. Because stories make everything better, and listening to a story is one of life’s oldest and greatest pleasures. It was also all I had to offer, since I was a bit shaken myself.

My darlings, may I read you a story? This is Horror podcast invited me to read something aloud, and I chose one of my favorite stories from my Beautiful Sorrows collection. Here is “Luna e Volk,” a tale of beauty, darkness, and a young man who is so entranced by the old tales and movies that he meshes fantasy and reality together. Please take a second to drink something soothing and listen to “Luna e Volk.”

Interior Artwork Release for “Water Thy Bones”


This piece by Luke Spooner (who is also the resident artist for Gamut Magazine!) makes me swoon. I want to hang it on my bedroom wall. This is the interior art for my story “Water Thy Bones,” which will be coming out in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories.

The first line? “There’s a loveliness to bones.”

Gutted will be released this June. I’m so excited for this! Stay tuned.



The Lost Citadel. And a Giveaway!

The city is called “Redoubt”… and so far as anyone knows, it is the last. 

Seven decades ago, there were cities upon cities; kingdoms and nations, the remains of ancient empire. Cultures at war, cultures at trade. Races with varying degrees of alliance and distrust. Humans, elves, dwarves, and others; magic and monsters, rare but real. Regions of desolation, certainly, but also regions of plenty; forests, farmlands, and fields. And so it was for millennia, through two dynamic ages the lorekeepers and scribes called Ascensions.

Until the world ended. Most call it the Fall, but whatever term a given people choose to use, it marked the point where everything—everything—changed. Nations crumbled. Races died. Magic sputtered. Nature sickened. 

The Dead woke.


This is a very cool project that I’m involved in. There’s a stellar lineup of authors, artists, and musicians all coming together to make this thing happen. My story is called “The Bone-Shaker’s Daughter,” and it’s a dark love story between a human, an elf, and how madness, obsession, and hierarchy play a role in this one remaining city. I sincerely hope it’s something you will enjoy.


To help garner support, I’m offering a giveaway! For anybody who backs the Lost Citadel Project, contributing even as little as a dollar, I’ll enter you in a raffle for a free audiobook of my latest (and favorite!) novel, Pretty Little Dead Girls. Pretty Little Dead Girls is narrated by Khristine Hvam, and she does a beautiful job. All you have to do is contact Lost Citadel Editor C.A. Suleiman (his contact information is on the right hand side of the Kickstarter page), let him know you backed the project, and tell him what name you used so he can confirm it.  At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, I’ll pick a winner and get you your copy of the PLDG audiobook. I hope you enjoy it.


Check out this campaign. It has a lot to offer. I’m hoping it funds all of the stretch goals so we can have a soundtrack. How amazing would that be?

Have a great day, friends!


WIP Wednesday: Long Overdue

WIP_WednesdayI haven’t done a WIP Wednesday for a while! It’s about time. I love hearing about other creatives and the projects they’re working on. I’ll share mine, and then will you share whatever art/music/writing/creative project you’re in the midst of?

Right now I’m in the midst of a short story titled “Ravenous Stars, Carnivorous Moon.” It’s a haunting thing about a woman who tries to feed herself to the stars. I’ve been going through a tough literary patch lately, actually having panic attacks when I open documents to write, but this one has been nothing but joy. It’s cut from starlight.

I’m also in the midst of a novella that’s a companion for a table top gaming series. And another novella that’s part of a very intriguing world. I’m not sure that I can announce that I’m attached to the project yet, but I can’t wait until I can! It’s a dark and magical thing, and I’m excited for it.

I had planned to have the second book of THE BONE ANGEL trilogy out by now, but I realized that Apocalyptic Montessa, Nameless, and Pretty Little Dead Girls all came out within a year, and I was exhausted. I took a little time off from the series, but I’m thinking the sequel will be out later this year. It’s titled Heartless: Carnival of Isolation, and my intention is to break Luna in this book. Do you think I can? We’ll see.

That’s what I’ve been up to. Will you share with me what you’ve been working on? I’d love to hear. 🙂

Todd Keisling’s ULT #5 is Available for Preorder!

I’m a fan of Todd’s work, and this story is one of my very favorites.


“Everything you are now will never be again.”

Somewhere between the lonely highways of America’s heartland lies a place that shouldn’t exist. A place where the sky is tinged purple and strange flora sprouts from gray sands. A place welcoming the lost and promising opportunity.

For Gregory Simmons, that opportunity is paramount, but like all things in his short life, nothing comes easy—or free.

On the run from his abusive father, Gregory finds himself stranded in a Midwestern bus depot with a stranger who calls himself John Doe. “I’m a genuine Nobody,” he tells Gregory. “I help other Nobodies get from here to there.” John Doe has a proposition for Gregory, one that will send him on a midnight bus ride across reality and straight into the heart of the mysterious Other Lands.

Check your bags and climb aboard The Other Land Express, the latest entry in Todd Keisling’s bestselling Kindle series, Ugly Little Things.

The Other Land Express will be available on April 7th! Pick it up and support somebody who is pretty likely to murder you in your sleep if you don’t. 😛

I’m the Featured Author in Lamplight!

10841826_715393915213406_3280808783954883009_oI’m so thrilled!

The December issue is now out in print. It contains an interview with me, my short story “A Love Not Meant to Outlast the Butterflies,” and fine work by Kelli Owens, Tom Brennan, Salena Casha, Rati Mehrotra, and J. J. Green.

The Kindle version is free with purchase of the print version, as well. You can find them both here.

I’m so proud of “Butterflies!” I originally had the idea for it while in New Orleans. It full of magical realism, romance, betrayal, and sorrow. I do hope you’ll read it!