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Literary Las Vegas: Mercedes M. Yardley

Bryony Adams has always known death was at her door “constantly ruffling its fingers through her hair.” But in Las Vegas author Mercedes M. Yardley’s novel “Pretty Little Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy,” Bryony finds that fate has bad aim, and if she runs, her doom gets close but doesn’t strike her. However, those around her are less fortunate. “It’s as if death is a bolt of lightning, and it’s striking all around me, looking for its target,” she writes. Yardley, who is also the author of the Bram Stoker Award-winner “Little Dead Red,” is scheduled to offer advice on submitting manuscripts to agents and editors during a meeting of the Las Vegas Writers Group at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Tap House, 5589 W. Charleston Blvd. The meeting fee is $5. Visit meetup.com/Las-Vegas-Writers.


So Bryony lived.

She lived past second grade and third and fourth. In fifth there was a bit of nastiness when a car swerved into the sidewalk and nearly hit her while she was roller skating but a thirteen-year-old boy zipped by on his skateboard and pushed her into the neighbor’s roses. It saved her life, but scratched her up terribly, and Bryony refused to talk to him for the next three years. When he was sixteen and she was thirteen, she realized with starry eyes that he had been her hero. When he was seventeen and she was fourteen, she wrote biting notes to his girlfriend that she never sent. When he was eighteen and she was fifteen, he joined the military and was killed that very year. Bryony once again felt the fangs of death striking at her ankles, pricking her skin but not wounding her directly. It was a warning, like everything else was a warning. She knew that she would die in high school.

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