Life Happens on the Stairs
And there’s no running when it’s your turn…
Winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards
3rd Place, Young Adult Romance – 2016 Linda Howard Award of Excellence
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.
Amy J. Markstahler’s Life Happens on the Stairs will touch your heart in many ways. It’s a hopeful story that reminds us of the miracle of love and family, and the possibility of second chances.
If you enjoy realistic fiction with a love story that will give you all the feels, this award-winning debut novel is a must read.
Life gave her an assignment
One she didn’t choose
Lost for answers
She felt beaten and bruised…
The days dragged on
Hopeless and dark
Until she met the one
Who lit a spark…
She needed a place
Somewhere to hide
He professed his devotion
Yet, she lied and lied…
She was stuck in adulting
Forced to be strong
Time was ticking
Her dad didn’t have long…
Ashamed and embarrassed
She could barely breathe
Torn between family
And a companion she needs.
Travis Borne’s review:
One of the most heartfelt books I’ve ever read. You’ll cry from start to finish. For, such is growing up. In its unrelenting progression, as the clock ticks, as a 17-year-old young woman transitions from teenager into adulthood, and life etches its deepest scars. Consequences and tribulations, the weight of the world and Elsie’s first real taste of it. It’s the experiences, the scars and how we all deal with our hurdles, that make us who we are. But don’t let me drag the focus of this review toward the dark side. Most of your tears, by far, will spill out because of an overwhelming sense of joy. Heartfelt, heart melted, total fulfillment. That’s what you’ll get from this novel. Life Happens on the Stairs, by Amy J. Markstahler, will reach into the deepest depths of your soul and switch on a bright light. Warmth, overcoming obstacles, true love. Imagine your heart on fire, while simultaneously experiencing newfound love, first times with youthful vigor. I read this in only two days. Yep, couldn’t put it down.
A year in the life of a teenage girl, Elsie, who thinks she isn’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough… She meets a very special, very handsome young man. And he’s special all right, and you’ll never guess every reason why. And all this and more happens while Elsie’s father is dying of cancer, while her mother needs, now more than ever, her help. Growing up fast. And the pressure is on. Will she, can she take the weight of the world? She’s run from it before and something terrible happened. To a special place where no one can find her. But will she keep running when times get tough this next time around, when it feels like all is lost, when it feels like the end of the world?
This story touched me on many levels and by the time I had finished reading it, I felt an uplifting sense of elation, absolution. Someone grew up and I realized in yet another dimension, from a superbly constructed perspective, just how special and wonderful, and heartbreaking life can be.
And no shocks for the sake of just shocking the reader, but things happen, real things, good ones, bad. This story is the real deal. It’s an account of real-life ups and downs, painful loss and secret loves, and personal growth. Grow up with Elsie as she gets a taste of the hardships parents face on a daily basis, year after year. Picking five acres of pimientos to help pay the bills, working her mother’s cleaning job, fending off ogling drunkards and dodging supercilious snobs…
I give Life Happens on the Stairs FIVE STARS, solid. The author excels at character development and her clean, easy-to-read prose flows like a Tennessee stream (pun intended, read it). The story is well-written and edited to excellence, and will breeze almost magically, into your heart and soul. Take this splendid journey, meet an exceptional someone and experience the exhilaration for yourself. A beautiful young woman’s life; Elsie grasps hardship, and then herself. She learns what true love is, and maybe, just maybe, she won’t run away from her problems when things get tough, as she has done in the past. And maybe, a change isn’t the end of the world. A little objectivity can do wonders.
Perfectly sculpted experiences, joys and pains, bar-brawl to fist-fight, to jail, and a car crash that changed a young man forever. All of this and more, in this heartwarming, real-world experience. And then finally experience the BIG picture. The end will have you jumping! Don’t pass on this title.