The night Tonya lost her cat, her best friend, Cassy, her heart split in half. A year later, she still hasn’t healed, and she promises herself she won’t be hurt that way again by adopting another pet. Little does she know; Cassy has other plans in mind.
Excerpt: “Gram?” I mumble, my vision blurry in the low light of the dying fire as a thump pulls me from sleep. I lie on the couch, a blanket tucked around me. Sitting up, I rub my eyes and switch on the lamp beside the couch. “Gram?” I say a bit louder.
The couch cushion at my feet shifts and I twist, my jaw dropping. Two massive, lemon colored eyes watch me from a fluffy gray face. “Cassy?” My heart soars before it drops into my shoes. I jiggle my head. “You’re dreaming. Cassy is—”
“Gone? If my being here is weird, let my words sink in.”
I yelp and scramble backward to tumble off the couch. My head hits the carpet and I wince. “Ouch.” I rub the back of my skull. “At least I’m awake now.”
“You have been for a while.”
I jolt to find Cassy perched on the backrest of the couch, her long fluffy tail curled around her paws. When she hops into my lap, I open my mouth to scream.
“Do you want to give Grammy a stroke? Stop yowling and listen!” She slaps a paw onto my lips. A hint of claw tickles me. “If you’re surprised, imagine my position. Imagine the biggest bag of catnip you’ve ever seen. Mine. Then I got a call from the head honcho because you’re messed up.” She licks her paw to clean her ears. “Plopped me here without discussion. Though, being able to speak your language is nice. This way I don’t have to tell you the same thing five hundred times before it registers.” She glowers at me, her same resting hiss face in full force.
“How is this possible?”
She swishes her tail. “Someone, somewhere, likes you. You don’t think I’m a crumb of underdone potato?”
Something lodges in my throat while my lip trembles and I reach to scratch behind her left ear.
Purring, she tilts her head in my palm before headbutting my chin. “I missed you too.”
I pull her to me and burry my face in her fur; it has the same sweet earthy scent I remember. “You’re here?”
She licks the tip of my nose. “You got it. Alright, I’d love to stay here but we have places to be.” She gives me a final headbutt and hops off my lap to saunter to the front door.
“Where are you going?” I scramble after her. “Why do you have to leave now?”
Justina Luther has never been one to fit into any one box; as a girl she was a tomboy in high heels.
Raised in a house that didn’t swear, she keeps her books the same way. While she won’t write a scene that would make your grandma blush, her words will push your emotions to the brink with twists you’ll never see coming.
From thrillers to romance, fantasy, and horror, she goes where her imagination leads, writing characters with integrity, transparency, and flaws, who don’t quite fit the box.
A Crazy Ink Exclusive author, she has several titles under her belt including:
The Step Into Darkness Series:
Would You Have Believed Me?
The Future Looks Forward
Echoes of the Past
The Heart Recalls
Cherry’s Marshmallow Float
With Short Stories Featured in:
Our Christmas Nook II
Beyond Atlantis: A Crazy Ink Anthology
Beyond The Rose: A Crazy Ink Anthology
Beyond The Beanstalk: A Crazy Ink Anthology
Beyond Fantasia: A Crazy Ink Anthology
Beyond the Mirror: A Crazy Ink Anthology.
For Melissa: An Anthology
Please tell us about what you typically write:
I love to write stories that push emotions to the max with a twist. As a multi-genre author, I follow my imagination wherever it might lead, but I keep my writing clean. You won’t find cursing or sex scenes in my books.
Q: If we were having a real in-person conversation, where would you like to be having this conversation?
A: I’d love to be in a cute café. We’d be in the back room where the comfortable, eclectically patterned, armchairs are with the perfect amount of morning sun coming through the windows. I’d be curled up with either an iced coffee or a hot chocolate or tea, depending on my mood.
Q: What got you into writing?
A: School projects. I was homeschooled from the third grade onward, but in the first and second grade we were asked to write small stories about what was happening in a picture, or what our weekend was like. Other kids turned in a paragraph, I turned in a few pages. I remember one project at Thanksgiving asking what the holiday was like at our house. I went to my teacher and asked if I could write it from the turkey’s perspective. I was told no. Ha! I’ve always loved to write.
Q: What inspired you to write this particular short story?
A: My late cat Sassy, as well as my two new rescue cats Figaro and Joy. There are many times I wish I could see Sassy again. This story was my way of getting to do that. Figaro and Joy inspired me to join the project because they came from a rescue very similar to the one this anthology is benefitting.
Q: Do you prefer to write short, or longer?
A: I love both formats for different reasons. Shorts force me to be exact in my word choices in order to get all of what I want to across in the tiny word space. I always walk away from them a better writer than I was when I began. I adore longer projects because I can let my imagination unfold fully. Walk the paths, if you would, with my characters from the beginning to the end, rather than give such a small snippet of their lives.
Q: What currently compels you to write?
A: I believe God gave me the ability to write and so I do my best to honor that gift by using it and following the ideas he gives me.
Q: Where do your characters come from?
A: Oddly enough, they always seem to come with the story ideas. Sometimes I take bits and pieces of people I know, and there will always be a part of me in them, but they’re a part of their stories from the inception of them. They introduce themselves to me fully as I write.
Q: Who is your favorite character that you’ve written?
A: Oliver Wendel, a side character in my novella The Compact. I love him! He’s such a quirky little spot of sunshine in the midst of this dark horror book.
Q: Would you rather have one of your works turned into a movie or a TV series?
A: I think a television series would be fun. With a spread-out option like tv, I feel it might actually be able to hit the whole book or series.
Q: What’s the one question you always like when people ask authors? And please answer.
A: I love the question “What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?” For me, aside from people assuming I pulled my stories from my own life (which I haven’t), my favorite compliment was when someone told me that if all great authors are ugly, then I must look like a dog. They had no idea when I look like and it was the most absurd way of saying they liked my work. I fell off my chair I was laughing so hard!
Q: What’s coming next for your readers?
A: I’m currently working on my second horror novel, Occidendum Sirenis. This will be my eighteenth publication.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjustinaluther
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForTheLoveOfStories