Benefit event for Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence raises $1,000

Lynn Hesse reports:

Lynn Hesse
It was a rainy night in Decatur, Georgia, but about sixty people turned out for "You Are the Resource," a public awareness event. We raised around a thousand dollars for the Georgia Coalition of Domestic Violence from sales of Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology and speaker Jennie Helderman's book, As the Sycamore Grows. and our "Me Too: Short Stories, An Anthology". After Jan Christensen, Executive Director of GCADV, read a statistic on domestic violence, each panelist shared a personal story about some aspect of domestic violence. The panelists discussed their work to change the culture, how domestic violence had affected their lives, and why they were a resource.
Ananda Shakti

Ananda Shakti and Julie Fuzel performed "#-We-2," a movement piece with dialogue. D. Olivia Jones read her poem, "Create Your Own Reality," and spoke about sexual harassment in the Air Force. Wende Ballew, Executive Director of Reforming Arts, spoke about the court system that puts women in jail for
Lynn signs copies of anthology
protecting themselves against their abusers. Jennie Helderman spoke about her harrowing experience of interviewing and writing a book, "As the Sycamore Grows" concerning a real-life case of severe and environmental deprivation where a man abused his wife in a cabin in the woods. I spoke about "Jewel's Hell" and breaking stereotypes in fiction. I ended by discussing the themes of healing and forgiveness from trauma in my books and the transformational quality of art. A reception and book signing followed.

I am indebted to Denise Funk and the Decatur Library staff in Decatur, Georgia, and to GCADV's Executive Director, Jan Christensen, and Communications and Events Manager, Chancy Chea, as well as my my talented panelists. The event was free, accessible, and advocates and deaf interpreters were present.

Liz Zelvin and VS Kemanis read from their stories at the KGB Bar in New York City

Live event update: Elizabeth Zelvin and VS Kemanis read from their short stories at the KGB Bar in New York City with other authors from the New York Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. See photos on the Photo Gallery page. Rona Bell will read at the next MWA-NY event at the KGB Bar on December 22.

Authors at the Mysterious Bookshop for reading and launch party

 Rona Bell, Elizabeth Zelvin, VS Kemanis, Julia Pomeroy, Lynn Hesse, 
Madeline McEwen, Diana Catt

Authors dine out in NYC the night before the launch party

Dinner at Turkuaz in fashionable Hell's Kitchen. The authors, left to right: VS Kemanis, Julia Pomeroy, Liz Zelvin, Madeline McEwen, Lynn Hesse, Rona Bell. The guys: Maddy's husband Mike, Lynn's husband Dean.

Our first reader review

"Of the fifteen short stories in this collection, amazingly there wasn't a single one which I felt was a dud. In fact the collection is refreshingly varied - perhaps unsurprising as the authors include a doctor, a lawyer, a crime writer, a police officer, a scientist, a therapist and a teacher. Most importantly, the stories, although all in some way involving sexual abuse by men against women, are really about survival, overcoming the abuse, fighting back. What shines through in each case is the courage of the women, the solidarity of family and friends, the emotional intelligence and ingenuity of the writers. Strongly recommended." - Cathy on Goodreads


Get the Me Too Short Stories anthology on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Online booksellers Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple Books will also carry the anthology. Retailers and libraries can order at Level Best Books or through the usual distributors.

“This anthology is a treasure. Empowering, inspirational, and sometimes wickedly funny.”
- Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of Trust Me and The Murder List

“Elizabeth Zelvin has put together a strong collection. The characters in these stories will challenge, surprise, and inspire you.”
- Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Sister

“A soul-satisfying anthology of justice and revenge, expertly edited. Each story is a standout.”
- Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Cover of Snow and Wicked River

Meet the Authors: Elizabeth Zelvin, Editor and Author

Elizabeth Zelvin is the editor of this anthology and author of the story "Never Again." Her stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Black Cat Mystery Magazine and have been nominated three times each for the Derringer and Agatha awards for Best Short Story. She served as editor for the anthology Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4. Liz’s series are the Bruce Kohler Mysteries, featuring a recovering alcoholic and his friends in present-day New York, and the Mendoza Family Saga, which includes historical adventure novels and mystery short stories about a Jewish family expelled from Spain, Columbus’s voyages, and the golden age of the Ottoman Empire. Liz is also a psychotherapist and addiction professional who has worked with the homeless and developed and directed a women’s alcohol treatment program. She has worked for many years with survivors of abuse and trauma. Her website is

Meet the Authors: Eve Fisher

Eve Fisher’s mystery stories have appeared regularly (28 and counting) in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, as well as other publications from Tough Crime to Black Cat Mystery Magazine. Her website is; she’s part of the mystery writers’ blog SleuthSayers. Her work is currently being translated into Chinese by a fan in Shanghai. A retired university history professor, Eve still writes historical articles (primarily on patterns in history), including “The $3,500 Shirt—A Lesson in Economics,” which appeared on the BBC and became part of an economics textbook. She also writes science fiction, and “Embraced,” in the Startling Sci-Fi anthology, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Eve is the president of the Alternatives to Violence Project in South Dakota, which puts on monthly weekend-long workshops on non-violence for inmates in South Dakota prisons. She lives in South Dakota with her husband and five thousand books.

Meet the Authors: V.S. Kemanis

V.S. Kemanis—attorney, dancer, choreographer, mother, novelist—has had an exciting and varied career in the law and the arts. She has worked for the Manhattan District Attorney, the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, and the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, most recently as supervising editor of decisions. She is also an accomplished dancer of ballet and contemporary techniques and has taught, choreographed, and performed in many venues. Publishing credits include four novels of legal suspense featuring prosecutor Dana Hargrove, five collections of short fiction on wide-ranging themes, and stories appearing in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and EQMM’s Crooked Road, Vol. 3 anthology, among others.

Meet the Authors: Lynn Hesse

Lynn Hesse was the 2015 First Place Winner, Oak Tree Press, Cop Tales, for her mystery, Well of Rage. Her suspense novel Another Kind of Hero was a finalist for the 2018 Silver Falchion Award. Her short story about a domestic homicide, published in an anthology, was adapted as the play We Hunt Our Young, produced at Emory University. As a police sergeant in DeKalb County, GA, she developed a street unit to deal with domestic violence. After retiring, she worked with women prisoners—many of them in prison for domestic violence related crimes—through Reforming Arts, using InterPlay experiences, and also taught them short story writing. An interview concerning Lynn's role as a police officer, as exemplified in the dance video Blue Steel, is in the Women's Studies Archives, The Second Feminist Movement, Georgia State University. She performs for social justice in several dance and theatrical troupes in Atlanta.

Meet the Authors: Dayle A. Dermatis

Dayle A. Dermatis is the author or coauthor of many novels and more than a hundred short stories in multiple genres, and her short fiction has been included in year's best anthologies in mystery, erotica, and horror. Her thriller story, “The Scent of Amber and Vanilla,” received an honorable mention in The Year's Best Crime & Mystery 2016, and “Voice Carry” appeared in Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017. “Bothering With the Details” and "Pirate Pete's" appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and she has several mystery and spy stories in current and upcoming Fiction River anthologies. She is the mastermind behind the Uncollected Anthology project, and has recently branched out into editing anthologies. To find out more, check out

Meet the Authors: Rona Bell

Rona Bell is the pen name of a well-known New York business executive. She has published (under other pen names) in the North American Review, the Akashic Books Mondays are Murder series, as well as such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Business Insider. Her most recent piece, “Spies on the Street,” appeared in the Summer 2018 edition of Mystery Readers International. Her short story, “Prey of New York,” was included in the anthology Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 and listed in Otto Penzler's Best American Mystery Stories 2018. Rona is a graduate of the University of Rochester and received a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. She has always been interested in the concept of opposites and the possibilities for story between those two extremes. She has been a proud member of the Crime Fiction Academy, directed by Jonathan Santlofer.

Meet the Authors: Julia Pomeroy

Julia Pomeroy has published three novels in the crime fiction genre, all set in upstate New York. The Dark End of Town and Cold Moon Home both feature restaurant worker Abby Silvernale; No Safe Ground tells the story of a young female Iraqi war vet, her father, and her trans uncle. Though she has written about upstate New York, Julia hasn’t always lived there. By some strange coincidence, when she saw the list of contributors to this anthology, she realized that she’d known one of them when she was a child in Mogadishu. This is Julia’s first short story.

Meet the Authors: Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil is author of the historical mystery Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper and winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association 2018 Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal for Historical Fiction. Ana earned her master's degree in American history from Florida State University, has worked as an architectural historian, and now writes fiction full time. Her heroines are independent American women of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who worked smart, fought hard, and persisted always. Her historic ghost story “Mr. Borden Does Not Quite Remem—” is a podcast on Kings River Life, and her story “Kate Chopin Tussles with a Novel Ending” appears in the Fault Lines anthology from the Northern California chapter of Sisters in Crime. After many years in the South, Ana lives in Oakland, CA. See more at

Meet the Authors: Julia Buckley

Julia Buckley has published three mystery series with Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime: The Writer's Apprentice mysteries, the Undercover Dish mysteries, and the Hungarian Tea House mysteries. Her short story “Evening Call” won the Sisters in Crime Chicagoland 30th Anniversary Short Story Contest in 2017. Her novel A Dark and Twisting Path spent two weeks on the Barnes and Noble mass market bestseller list. Two of her mysteries have been published in Japan. Dubbed “a writer to watch” by the Library Journal, she writes both cozy mysteries and romantic suspense, and she has taught high school English for thirty years. She lives in Chicago with her husband; she has two grown sons and a menagerie of animals. Find out more at

Meet the Authors: Madeline McEwen

Madeline McEwen, author of "Stepping on Snakes," is a Navy brat from the UK and spent a number of blissfully happy years at the Naval base in South Africa. She settled in San Jose, CA in 1995 and has acclimated perfectly apart from her English accent. She has published numerous short stories in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, both in print and online. The bulk of her work is in the cozy-mystery genre, with a few non-fiction pieces and a couple of LGBTQIA steamy romantic capers, but always emphasizing the hidden humor in daily life. Madeline is bifocaled and technically challenged. She and her Significant Other manage their four offspring, one major and three minors, two autistic, two neurotypical, plus a time-share with Alzheimer's. In her free time, she walks with two dogs and chases two cats with her nose in a book and her fingers on the keyboard. You can find her at

Meet the Authors: C.C. Guthrie

C.C. Guthrie’s short stories have appeared in the anthologies Fish Out of Water, Busted! Arresting Stories From The Beat, Fishy Business, and Landfall: The Best New England Crime Stories 2018,. She lives near Fort Worth, Texas.

Meet the Authors: Diana Catt

Diana Catt has fifteen short stories in multiple genres appearing in anthologies published by Blue River Press, Red Coyote Press, Pill Hill Press, Wolfmont Press, The Four Horseman Press and Speed City Press, as well as a collection, Below the Line. She is co-editor of The Fine Art of Murder and Homicide for the Holidays. Her short story “Framed” appeared in The Best by Women in Horror anthology, Killing It Softly 2. She is co-author of a play, Deadbeat, which debuted at the 2018 IndyFringe. Diana has three grown children, two grandchildren (ask to see pictures!) and a doctorate in microbiology. She teaches microbiology at a central Indiana university, owns an environmental testing lab, and likes hunting in scary places for mold. Find more at

Meet the Authors: Carole Sojka

Carole Sojka is the author of three mystery novels: two set on Florida’s Treasure Coast and a standalone, Psychic Damage, set in Southern California. She has had short stories published in an anthology from Red Coyote Press, The Storyteller, Yellow Mama, and other venues. The most exciting time of Carole’s life were the two years she spent teaching in Africa with the Peace Corps at a time of great hope for the newly independent countries of Africa. Upon her return, her Master’s Degree in Public Administration enabled her to work as the administrator in a public law office. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two spoiled dogs.

Meet the Authors: Ann Rawson

Ann Rawson's debut novel, A Savage Art, inspired by her love of textile arts and dark fairy tales, was published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016. She's now looking for a home for her second novel, which features paganism, Roman treasure, and a dysfunctional family. In 2008 her short story “The Tree of Knowledge” was shortlisted for the Asham Award. Although she still thinks of herself as a northerner, she now lives near Brighton on the south coast of England. Ann has worked as a receptionist in the ER, as a cleaner and rent collector, and currently as a software tester and small business founder. She frequently walks on the chalk hills and white cliffs with her husband, and while he solves software problems, she plots her third novel. They are often accompanied by their yowling cat.

Meet the Authors: Gin Gannon

Gin Gannon (not so secretly also USA Today bestselling cozy mystery author Gin Jones) brings her past experience as a lawyer and her ongoing experience as a patient advocate to her intricately plotted storytelling. She can't always ensure justice in the real world, but her characters always get what they deserve, for better or worse. When not writing, Gin quilts, grows garlic, and advocates for patients with rare disorders.

Advance praise for ME TOO SHORT STORIES
from bestselling crime fiction authors

“This anthology is a treasure. Empowering, inspirational, and sometimes wickedly funny. Timely fiction like this provides a special kind of justice—giving not only insight and empathy but a new strength to voices that must be heard.”
- Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of Trust Me and The Murder List

“Elizabeth Zelvin has put together a strong collection that reminds us—as if we ever need reminding—how the daily lives of women can be affected by the conduct of calculating or even careless men. The characters in these stories will challenge, surprise, and inspire you.”
- Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Sister

“A soul-satisfying anthology of justice and revenge, expertly edited by Elizabeth Zelvin. Each story is a standout in its own way. If the deepest truths are revealed through fiction, then this anthology goes further, reflecting our own lives back and showing us how to live them just a bit better.”
- Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Cover of Snow and Wicked River

The anthology will be out on September 3. Look for the cover and pre-order information soon.

ME TOO SHORT STORIES: An Anthology will be out in September

ME TOO SHORT STORIES, a unique anthology of short fiction that looks beyond crimes against women to retribution and healing, will be published by Level Best Books in trade paperback and e-book editions in September 2019

What do women want? A voice. To be heard. Respect. To be believed. Justice. To be both safe and free. The women and children in these stories use the means at hand to protect themselves and those they love: a childish jingle, a skillet full of cornbread, a candle, or their own quick wits. These women are neither femmes fatales nor throwaway victims, nor are they the tough-talking, gunslinging superheroines at the shallow end of crime fiction. These stories, written by women, are about women and girls as strong, as vulnerable, and as varied as their counterparts in real life. They are not lone wolves. They have daughters, sisters, friends. The Episcopal priest worries about her parishioners. The banshee worries about the Hippocratic Oath. The microbiologist worries about her obligation to the dead. In this anthology, you will hear their voices.

Here's the lineup:

Elizabeth Zelvin "Never Again"
Eve Fisher "Pentecost"
Rona Bell "The Call Is Yours"
Diana Catt "The Final Recall"
Julia Pomeroy "A Measured Death"
Ana Brazil "Miss Evelyn Nesbit Presents"
Madeline McEwen "Stepping on Snakes"
Dayle A. Dermatis "Women Who Love Dogs"
Lynn Hesse "Jewel's Hell"
Gin Gannon "Banshee Scream"
V.S. Kemanis "No Outlet"
Ann Rawson"A Dog's Life"
Julia Buckley "Subterfuge"
C.C. Guthrie "The Taste of Collards"
Carole Sojka "Chrissie"