A Sneak Peek ... The Long Game

Sunday, September 10, 2017

It made me uncomfortable to have my love life discussed this way. At this rate, Ayisha would soon be wearing a halo and I was the one who'd have to do a full-time job of repairing what little reputation I had left.  

The only positive thing in this situation was that Ayisha knew me, so none of this surprised her. I relaxed because this was one of the good things about being with her like this. Although I wasn't great relationship material, she accepted me for who I was and was willing work with me as I was right now. That single fact made me love her. 

I definitely could see myself with her long term. This was a shock for me, since a little over a month ago, I didn't have any thoughts or plans about my future other than the next female who'd be in my bed. 

Mama patted Ayisha's hand before getting up to clear the table. Despite Mama’s protests, Ayisha helped her move the plates and cutlery to the kitchen. 

When they didn't come back after their last trip, my father peered at me over his glasses and I knew I was in for more advice. "Mess with that girl and I'll kill you myself, although you're my only son. I don't understand how you treat women this way and you have a sister." 

"Donna can take care of herself," I said in reference to my sister who had been working overseas for several years. "You might not believe me, but I treat my women well." 

He shot a glance at the kitchen doorway. "Women?" 

"You know what I mean. Ayisha is the only one I'm seeing now." 

"At your age, you really—" 

I felt myself getting tense. This scenario was getting old. I was tired of having to defend myself in the place where I usually felt most relaxed. I put up both hands. "Papa, trust me, I'm not about to hurt Ayisha or anything like that." 

His gaze didn't waver as he looked at me. "My only worry is that you won't be able to live up to her expectations. I've never heard of a leopard changing its spots." 

"Well, it's a good thing I don't have to prove anything to anybody but Ayisha." 

My mother's voice put an end to the conversation. She and Ayisha, plus the dog, came back into the room. 

As we ate slices of bread pudding laced with raisins and rum, I watched Ayisha. She pulled the cake fork out of her mouth slowly and then licked a crumb off her lip, all while she stared at me. The front of my jeans grew uncomfortably tight and I shifted. 


As if she knew what was happening to me, Ayisha smiled. She dragged her teeth over her bottom lip as her eyes lit up. The woman knew exactly what she was doing to me. Under the table, something nudged my foot. I thought it might be Cookie, until I looked across at Ayisha and a mischievous grin greeted me. 

Get your copy of The Long Game

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IWSG Anthology Contest News!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Today is another IWSG day when we share our insecurities and offer encouragement to those who may need it along the journey.Assisting Alex today are The awesome co-hosts today are  Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure.

This month's optional question for you to answer - Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in? 

I've surprised myself several times over by reaching into genres that I wasn't sure I'd enjoy. The latest avenue I've gone done is sweet romance, which is a different set up from romantic suspense and women's fiction. It's challenging to dial down the drama, but I've found enjoyment in writing stories with cute kids and pets.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology Contest

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence. 

Story deadline: November 1st 2017

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. 

The shortlisted entries will then go to our official judges who are listed below: 

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. 

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class. 

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon. 

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications. 

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead (https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Caswell-Dead-Patricia-Stoltey/dp/1432834401/) (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 


Go to the contest page here

Last, but not least, on Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), for the Show Us Your Writer Insecurity Contest!post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post directing us to your photo. 

(All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.) We've got some cool prizes in store! Look out for the IWSG Writing For Profit anthology, which will be available by that time.

See How Ayisha & Vance Win The Long Game!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

On Friday, The Long Game hit the Amazon platform. Like every other story, theirs is unique and took me to places I hadn't gone before as a writer. It is my hope that you'll enjoy their story. 

Blurb:

Aside from a brief stint of madness during their teen years, Vance James and Ayisha Glenn are not each other's idea of relationship material. Vance, a financial analyst and avid golfer, is preoccupied with getting his fill of women, and finding that special someone doesn't factor into his plans. Yet all it takes to turn his world upside down is one remark from Ayisha about his lifestyle. Suddenly, his focus shifts and he's spending his days trying to prove he can be the man she needs.

Ayisha is a go-getter who knows what she's about—a successful business, a lifetime with the man of her dreams, and children to complete the picture. Vance is an expert at romance, but with Ayisha it's all or nothing. She's waited years for Vance to stop chasing the wind in pursuit of what's already in front of him. Now that he's set his heart on having her, will she accept his love? 

Get your copy of The Long Game

Aaaaaand if you don't want to miss another release, be sure to follow me on Bookbub.





Sunday Sample ... The Long Game

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Long Game is coming this week ... 

I pushed away my plate and made room for the Shih Tzu I'd taken home a couple of days ago. She'd come to me through a customer who had a litter. For months, my client kept offering me one of the pups. I'd wanted the puppy, but kept procrastinating because I didn't have the ideal home situation.

Not that I was in any better position now, but I'd finally taken the little cutie pie after I'd seen a digital image of her last week and after I had a talk with Mama. Kiki was now five months old and very cute. She put her paws on the table and sniffed at my leftovers.

I moved the plate farther away. "Nope. That's not on the menu, girl."

Vance continued eating while he watched us.

"You're not leaving her locked up here during the days, are you?"

I shook my head while scratching Kiki under her chin. "Mama will keep her."

He closed the knife and fork, finished his orange juice and then asked, "So what's the point of getting the dog?"

"I've been thinking about it for a while now."

"You never mentioned it."

Playing with Kiki's silky ear, I said, "I don't talk about every single thing with you lot."

"Understood, but it's just weird you never mentioned Cookie before."

"Kiki."

He folded his arms and cocked his head. "Cookie fits her better."

I wouldn't admit I agreed with him, but her black, tan and white coloration did remind me of a slice of marble cake.
"Whatever. Since when are you interested in my household affairs anyway?"

His wide smile said it all. When he poked out his lips and then pursed them, I knew he had something to say that I probably wouldn't like. "Does this dog have anything to do with Brianna?"

I looked at him like he was crazy. "You're comparing a baby and a dog?"

"Well, Brianna is cute and the dog is too."

"I don't know what you're implying and I'm not even going wherever with you."

Now, he grinned. "Don't think I don't see the way you and Anna-Lise look at that little girl, as if the sun shines out of her. I think the two of you would pop one out if pregnancy wasn't so long and complicated."

I was speechless. After cutting my eyes at him, I shook my head. "You're so vulgar."

"It's not like you didn’t know. But anyway, you know I'm not lying."

When I didn't say anything for a bit, he added, "Like I said, being a mother would suit you."

"All in good time, I guess."

Kiki barked as if she agreed with that I'd just said.

"Isn't she going to complicate your life?" Vance said, pointing at Kiki. "Especially since you're now going to the gym."

"Man, you're all the way into my business."

"As your man, it's my business to know what's going on in your life."

His declaration sucked my breath away. He'd put into words what had been lingering on the edge of my mind. If I had a doubt about what we were doing, Vance had just blown my doubts away.

For reasons I hadn't clarified with myself, I'd started the gym at the beginning of the week. This thing with Vance had me shaking up my life, which wasn't a bad move since I'd fallen into a crater and hadn't climbed out except to go on that date with Lawrence. I could have told myself I didn't need to work out, but I knew better. I was fit enough, but there was room for improvement and if I was to keep up with Vance, yeah, I needed to step up my endurance.

Kiki squirmed in my lap, so I got up to give her a snack. She didn't eat much, but until I learned her habits, I didn't want to run the risk of starving her. In the kitchen, I doled out a bit of kibble and put fresh water in her other bowl. Kiki dipped her head in the neon-pink bowl and got busy with her snack.

When I stood straight, Vance was behind me carrying our breakfast plates. He went to the bin, emptied the leftovers and moved to the sink. Watching him washing up brought a smile to my face. He was trying, which pleased me. Although he lived alone and was used to tidying up after himself, when we got together, Ayisha, Kathy and I tended to clean up after the guys.

I paid attention when Vance stood before me. He looked at his watch, a big old thing that had smart features, including measuring the yardage on the golf course. It was the only thing he wore that was obviously expensive and he hardly ever took it off.

A sly grin twisted his mouth and he gripped my waist with both hands. "We have some time before we head out to the course."

Sliding my arms around his shoulders, I mumbled against his lips. "Don't you ever get enough?"

"Not with you," he said, easing his fingers under my tank top.

Exciting IWSG News!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today is IWSG post day. As we do each month, we share our insecurities and offer encouragement to other writers who may need it. Today’s hosts, along with Captain Alex are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

August question - What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

In terms of writing and editing, the only peeve I have with myself is starting the job without some kind of outline. It wastes time when I have to go back and check through the manuscript for make and model of vehicles, where characters live, as well as their habits. It makes the job so much easier if I note this from start. 

In reading a work not my own, it's hard to enjoy a story when it is riddled with typos or inconsistencies.

Exciting IWSG News!
The IWSG pitch party was a wonderful event with #IWSGPit trending on Twitter on the day. If you didn’t get to participate, not to worry, you’ll have another opportunity in January.

As always, there is something coming in the pipeline with the IWSG. In October, on our IWSG post day we’ll have another contest! Post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. 

After you post, leave a comment on the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook thread with a link to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members are welcome to participate, but your photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.) 

The IWSG site admins will visit each post and pick the top three for some awesome prizes, which are listed below.

Third place – EBook of A Change of Mind and Other Stories by Nick Wilford, eBook of The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, eBook of Cling to God by Lynda R. Young, eBook of Already Home by Heather M. Gardner, and eBook of Dragon of the Stars by Alex. J. Cavanaugh. 

Second place – The entire eBook collection of the Totem series by Christine Rains, eBooks of Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie, audio book of CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh, eBook of Black and White by Nick Wilford, and your choice eBook from J.L. Campbell. 

Grand prize winner - IWSG website interview, IWSG newsletter spotlight, IWSG pinned tweet for one week, C. Lee McKenzie's Featured Follower for the month, the IWSG Goodreads book club eBook for October/November, a short chapter critique, and a pair of IWSG erasers. 

We have some great IWSG swag – pens, mugs, magnets, erasers, etc. All proceeds will be used to fund the upkeep of the IWSG site.


Last, but not least, on August 24th at 2:00 pm EST, Chrys Fey will be participating in a LIVE YouTube interview with Evan Carmichael, an entrepreneur who she'll be interviewing about his book Your One Word and getting some great advice for IWSG members. You'll be able to watch the interview live HERE. You can set a reminder if you click on the link, or you can watch it later. The video will be uploaded in the August 30th IWSG newsletter issue. Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xf6dTwSZr4

Writing Tips from Michelle Stimpson

Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm happy to have Michelle Stimpson on the blog, sharing tips about becoming a better writer. I've also shared my thoughts on Who Killed My Husband?

5 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

1.            Know the difference between showing and telling. If your main character suffers from anxiety, don’t write, “She suffers from anxiety.” Instead, show the reader her issue through her actions and words. Let her bite her nails, show her having a near panic attack on an elevator, let her throw up over something that wouldn’t upset most people. You want the reader to come to the conclusion that she battles anxiety based on what happens in the story. You don’t have to show everything. Minor characters and issues don’t have to be so explicit. Focus on the main plot.

2.            Plot if you can. One of the things that has helped me write faster books that still have quality is to have a very detailed outline before I ever start writing. This came as a result of writing a screenplay (which hammers down details about locations) as well as reading books on how to speed-write. I still don’t write 10,000 words a day as other authors claim, but I can get up to 2200-2500 words an hour when I shut down everything else and concentrate on making that outline come to life. I used to think that plotting took away my creativity. I have gotten over that idea. I can be creative when I write the outline. I can change things if something comes up while I’m writing. But to know where I’m going from the very beginning is invaluable. For me, this is how books actually get finished.

3.            Don’t edit as you write. I know a few people who have finished books who say they edit as they go, but those people are few and far between. For the most part, the people I know who can’t seem to rest until chapter one is perfect have never actually gotten past chapter 1. Writing is an art. It’s okay for a chapter to be imperfect. It should be imperfect the first time. I think you should love your story and your characters from the start, but you may not be in love with the chapters and paragraph along the way. It’s okay. That’s how love goes anyway, right? You don’t have to love every single thing about a person in order to love them.

4.            Read like a writer. Every good writer I know is always reading. Reading gives you ideas, teaches you new vocabulary, shows you how other people are stringing their words together in ways you hadn’t imagined. When you read, keep a pen or a highlighter handy to mark interesting phrasing or techniques. Then rephrase and try them in your own writing.  I know, I know. It seems as though it will take away the joy of reading. Don’t worry. You can read the book again if you want to. But if you want to become a better writer, you will learn to “steal” from the best artists.

5.            Find Your People. You need people. Partners. Other writers who will ruthlessly critique what you’ve written and allow you to do the same for them. There are critique groups online and there’s probably one within 35 miles of every semi-major city. I know a lady who drives 2 hours every Thursday in order to meet with a critique group because they make her better. Coincidentally, she finished her first novella months after joining the critique group, which was something she had been trying to accomplish on her own for years!

Bonus: WRITE! There is no substitute for writing. Thinking about writing, talking about writing, buying new spirals and fancy pens, opening a Word® document, planning to write—none of that is writing. Only writing is writing.

Review - Who Killed My Husband? 

Ashley and Allan Crandall are a young couple who are experiencing difficulty in their marriage. Allan, or DJ Pistol Whip as he prefers being called, is heavily involved in his music business, while Ashley is concerned about his soul and the survival of their marriage. When Allan is murdered, Ashley is forced to stand strong on her faith and get through a difficult situation.

Though short, I enjoyed this story. It speaks to the sometimes unrealistic expectations we have of others and how the people we are colour our own expectations. I wondered how Ms. Stimpson would handle the subject of murder in such a compact story, but she did it well. 

The pacing was good, the tension continued to build until Ashley came face-to-face with her husband’s killer. The book came to a satisfactory conclusion and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

About the Author

Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults. 

In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at www.wegottaread.com. 


Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, in Dallas, TX. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs and other positive organizations, and she has taught writing classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.



Tour hosted by Write Now Literary 

Click here to follow the tour 

Sunday Sample - The Long Game

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Coming in August ...

After a brief stint during their teenage years, Vance and Ayisha called it quits. With one remark, she turns Vance's world upside down and he's suddenly trying to be the man she wants  ... but will she accept his love?

Garth parked the cart, got out, and pulled a club from his bag. Before he walked to his ball, he spoke over his shoulder. "At the rate you go through women, your life will be short. Period."

After hitting a perfect shot that landed on the green, he cleaned the grass from his club and got behind the wheel. 

I didn't think his comment deserved the energy it would take to respond, so I ignored him and watched Ayisha take her stance over the ball. She went still, took her backstroke and hit a smooth shot. Her finishing position was elegant, I grudgingly admitted, but her smart mouth took away from my admiration. I could just bet she'd been yakking it up with Anna-Lise and getting all over my business. Then again, my exploits were common knowledge so they wouldn't spend time talking about what they already knew.

She had no right to suggest there was something wrong with the way I lived my life. I was doing what I chose to do and didn't have anything in my past which caused me not to want to settle down. Although my mother and father were married for years, that wasn't what I chose to do. I was all about living it up and that's what I planned to do as long as I had breath left in my body.

While Anna-Lise took her shot, I shuffled my feet on the floor of the cart, wondering why I couldn't let Ayisha's words go. I had a date this evening and that's where my focus should have been.

She was a fine one to talk anyway. Ayisha didn't have a man, nor did she have a life. If anybody was qualified to talk about relationships and how they worked, it wasn't her. The last time she'd had a man was more than two years ago.

That stopped my mind from running.

I studied her, lean and toned in a long-sleeved golf shirt and a skort that left most of her honey-gold legs on display. From experience, I knew her inky-black hair was soft to the touch and her mouth, pouty and …

"That's more like it," Garth said, breaking into my thoughts. "At least you're not looking like you want to skewer her."

Why I was thinking about Ayisha as if she was dating material, I didn't know. I'd been there and done that and it wasn't pretty. She was the sort of woman guys like me stayed away from, demanding and full of unsolicited opinions. On the other hand, she was amusing, intelligent, and gave as good as she got.

"It's not like she doesn't deserve it," I grumbled.

"Simply because she stated what is?"

"So now you're on her side?"

Slapping me on the shoulder, Garth laughed. "I'm not on anybody's side. Come on, man. You're taking this thing way too seriously. She's said much worse things to you and you never took them this badly. So what if you're not meant to settle down and can't be the kind of man sane women admire?"

His paraphrase of Ayisha's words tickled his funny bone, because he chuckled again.

"Now you're beginning to annoy me," I said.

"You're getting upset for nothing."

"Whatever."

"You're the one who always takes a joke too far and now it seems you can't take a bit of truth from a hundred-and-fifty-pound female. Anna-Lise would give you hell if she knew."

"Don't you dare tell her," I said, hanging on to the side rail. "The two of you are to blame for this anyhow."

"How on earth did we get involved?"

"Well, if you weren't making love over lunch, Ayisha wouldn't have been thinking about everything she doesn't have, which led to her taking out her frustration on me."

"You're full of crap, you know that?"

"It's the truth though."

"So what you're saying is that A has a case of sour grapes?"

"You said it, not me."

"If that were the case, she wouldn't still be friends with you. That woman has the patience of Job to feel the way she does about you and still be hanging around with you."

I put on a tight smile as Anna-Lise and Ayisha shot past us on their cart.

"Hold up, what d'you mean the way she feels about me?"

"Vance, not even you can be that dumb. Anybody with two eyes in their head can see she still has a thing for you."

Frowning, I followed the girls' cart with my eyes. "But that was—"

"Years ago, yes, but we can't choose who we love, so while you've been whoring … "

Garth droned on, but I was stuck at the part where he thought Ayisha was feeling something for me. So we'd hooked up briefly when we were teenagers, but our personalities were too similar for us to survive as a couple. Since then, I'd worked my way through countless women, while she'd been a fixture in my life.

It was hard to believe what Garth was saying, but if I thought about it, Ayisha was more than a friend to me. We spent a lot of time together on the golf course, and not so much off since I was always keeping company elsewhere. Despite that, she counted as one of the most important people in my life. Bryan, Garth, Cathy, Anna-Lise, Ayisha, and I had been a team since high school and though we had many disagreements and some hardship, nothing had separated us since we were teens.

Garth usually made sense, but this time I had to conclude he was way off base. Yet, I couldn't help wondering if there was one grain of truth to the way he saw things. If he was right, I didn't want to think about how the things I'd done must have affected her all this time. She was a strong woman, but still ...

Who Killed My Husband? - Michelle Stimpson

Friday, July 28, 2017


Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Who Killed My Husband? By Michelle Stimpson
Virtual Book Tour. July 17-28, 2017.  
Genre: Short Story/Mystery
ASIN: B071743ZLP
Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults. 

In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at www.wegottaread.com.

 Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, in Dallas, TX. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs and other positive organizations, and she has taught writing classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.

Ashley Crandall finally convinced her husband, Allan, to attend the Christian men’s retreat...but he ends up dead there. What happened to him on the campgrounds? Who would want to kill Allan? And why are the detectives pointing fingers at Ashley? In her quest to solve the mystery and clear her name, Ashley will learn something about her husband that she didn’t want to know and something about her Christian faith that shifts her life. 

This short work by national bestselling, multi-published author Michelle Stimpson is packed with emotion, suspense, and a her signature way of weaving hope into a story – always a hit with readers who enjoy faith-based reads.

In Conversation with
Michelle Stimpson

Q: This is a different kind of book for you. What made you venture a little with this title?

A: After writing 40+ books, an author can get kind of stagnant. I have recently started reading clean mysteries, and I found that I actually enjoy them. They keep me up late at night because I truly want to find out whodunit and why. I’m hoping my readers will enjoy a different pace, too. I think they’ll be glad to know it’s possible to change things up and still keep the message of the book strong.

Q: What is the message of the book?

A: The main character, Ashley, is struggling to make sense of things as they relate to her. She has suffered much loss in her life already. But she’s going to have to understand that God doesn’t make His plans around Her. She may be the apple of His eye, but she is not the center of the universe.  His promise to be there always will have to sufficient for some of us until we reach the other side.

Q: Wow! That title really caught me. How did you come up with the idea for this book?

A: You know what, I wish I could remember. Thankfully, I have not experienced much death around me, but I know that the longer I live, the more loved ones will pass away. Death is a part of life.  I don’t kill off a lot of characters in my books, but there was just something about this couple that struck my imagination and I knew they needed a book. Quickly!

Q: How quick?

A: About 10 days from outline to finished first draft.

Q: Seriously?

A: Yes, but keep in mind: This is a shorter work of fiction.

Q: Why did you choose to write a shorter piece?

A: I actually got my start with fiction as a short-story writer. I love shorter reads because I can finish them quickly. My schedule is often irregular, so it’s hard for me to get into longer books during hectic weeks. When I sit down for a few hours with a short read, I already know I’m going to have the satisfaction of finishing it. I usually save longer reads for holidays/vacations.

Q: What else is going on with you outside of the writing world?

A: Glad you asked! I am now the grandmother of a wonderful baby girl. Bless God! I am spending a ridiculous amount of time just staring at her and nibbling on her juicy cheeks.

Q: What’s your next release?

A: I’ve got a non-fiction book coming out entitled Change Your Mind, Transform Your Life: 21 Truths to Renew Your Mind in Christ. I am always sooo excited about edifying believers. Non-fiction is not my first genre, but it is definitely one of the most fulfilling to me.

Q: Do you have advice for aspiring authors?

A: I have more than advice—I have help! They can visit www.PublishMyBookAlready.com to take classes and learn more about publishing, marketing, etc.

Q: How Can Readers Connect with You?

A: The best way to keep in touch is through my email list. I send out notice of new books and keep people posted on all kinds of things from events to what’s happening with their favorite characters to upcoming releases. 
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