On the Edge of Her Seat #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Excerpt #Inspiration

Welcome to another edition of Six Sentence Story Thursday Link Up, in which the given word is “edge.” My contribution this week is an excerpt from my latest book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, in which ten-year-old Sarah and her mother Marti are visiting her grandmother in a nursing home. During their visits, Marti usually reads something aloud. This time, it’s one of those riveting Drama in Real Life articles from Reader’s Digest. This excerpt is told from Marti’s first-person point of view. Let’s see what happens.


“Mom, I think you’ll like this,” I said.

But as I read about a man who fell off a cliff while hiking with friends, Mom didn’t appear to be listening. Her eyes were closed, and soon, she was making soft snoring sounds. I turned to Sarah, who was on the edge of her seat, wide–eyed.

“Finish the story, Mom. Was the guy finally rescued?


So, does Marti finish the story? Was the guy rescued? Read the book to find out. See below for details.

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring me to post the above excerpt with her six-sentence prompt for this week. You can click here to participate and read other bloggers’ responses.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?






What Hooks Me to a Book #Wednesday Words #Open Book Blog Hop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I don’t judge a book by its cover. When I read or hear about one that sounds interesting, I read the synopsis. If I find the book  on Audible and am not familiar with the author or narrator, I play a sample to get an idea of the style of writing and narration. Because of my limited vision, I have difficulty reading Kindle samples. So, I hope for the best. I never return a book if I don’t like it because I still want to support the author.

Once I start a book, I can’t always guarantee I’ll finish it. If a book contains too much strong language or too many vivid descriptions of sex or violence, I no longer care about how it will end. If a book turns out to be too unbelievable, it’s not worth it for me.

I have a nasty habit of letting myself get too drawn into a story. Over and over, I tell myself it’s just a book and the characters’ tribulations are not my problem, but that doesn’t always work. Sometimes, a story keeps me awake at night, and I can’t let it go. If I have a bad feeling about how a book will end, I don’t finish it because I don’t want to know.

When I was younger, I enjoyed reading mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and even some horror stories. Now, I’m more selective about what I read. Isn’t it interesting how tastes change as we age?


The above was inspired by Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop question for this week. If you’d like to participate, click here.


Today’s the day. I’ll be performing at noon Mountain Standard Time at the Wyo Theater here in Sheridan, Wyoming, as part of our local senior center’s live music streaming series. The event will be held virtually on Facebook, but even if you don’t have an account, you should be able to watch my program live by clicking this link. Please share this information with all your friends. I hope you can come.


By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.


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Thursday Book Feature: Mastering Suspense, Plot, and Structure

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Mastering Suspense, Plot, and Structure

By Jane Cleland

Copyright 2016


From the award-winning author of the Josie Prescott Antique Mystery series comes a how-to manual on creating gripping stories that leave readers on the edges of their seats. Jane Cleland provides what she calls a road map on working suspense and other elements of fiction into a story. Assuming you’re already working on a novel, each chapter offers an exercise to help you apply what you’ve learned to your own work. At the end, she emphasizes that if you follow her instructions, you’ll write books that sell and are loved.

At first, I was skeptical when one of my writing groups decided to read this book and do the exercises, sharing the fruits of our labors to our email list. I don’t read or write thrillers or mysteries or any kind of book with a lot of suspense. Once I got into it though, to my surprise, I found myself applying what I’d learned to my own novel, The Red Dress, which is now in the hands of the publisher, DLD Books. Jane Cleland’s methods can also be applied to short stories. So, if you like to write fiction and are looking for ways to improve in this genre, I definitely recommend this book.


My Books


My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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