Amy J. Markstahler
Amy J. Markstahler lives with her husband and two children near the banks of the Salt Fork River, just outside Urbana, Illinois. In 2016, she was the 3rd Place recipient in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, and in 2018, she won First Prize in the Breakthrough Novel Awards, both for Life Happens on the Stairs, her first novel.
If she's not writing or hanging out with her family, you can probably find her on the porch with one of her many cats.
Life Happens on the Stairs
Young Adult/New Adult
Elsie Richardson’s world crumbles when her dad drops from a seizure at the 4th of July festival. The reality that his brain tumor is back with a vengeance slams the 17-year-old aspiring artist and her family into intense hardship. Her mom needs help to make ends meet, forcing Elsie into adulting overnight. On top of that, Elsie’s caustic, grudge-holding brother is on his way home, and Elsie fears he will only make matters worse.
Feeling alone and hopeless, Elsie does as she’s told and goes to work with her mom. That’s when she meets Tyler Vaughn, the grandson of her mom’s wealthiest client.
After he invites her to go jogging at the historical Shiloh National Military Park, Elsie is warned by her mom to stay away from the wealthy, young man. Elsie gets the notice a bit too late, and so she lies about who she’s meeting each morning.
Over the next few weeks, Tyler becomes her secret solace amidst all the uncertainty she’s facing. But when reality strikes and her private world crashes, she's forced to find her inner strength on her own.