Books

Fiction

"I'm always happy to read as-yet-unpublished debuts, but it's really rare that I stay up until three a.m. reading one, turning pages so fast it's a wonder I didn't get whiplash. Not only is Lauren's book gorgeously written (I was underlining phrases), but it's also a super-smart psychological study about the lives of women--one rich, one strugglingly poor--about aging parents, the tragedy of so-called justice, marriage and its discontents, and a nail-biting literary thriller, with an ending I honest to God never saw coming. Truly special and totally unforgettatble."

- Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Pictures of You, Is This Tomorrow and Cruel Beautiful World

 

Novels & Stories

Play Me Backwards

Great Gutsy Novelist First Page Prize winner, 2022

It's 1990. For more than a decade, hysterical communities have prosecuted and shut down daycares for using young children in Satanic Rituals. Everyone has read the news, heard the stories.

When four-year-old Kaitlyn Price disappears without a trace, Satanic ritual abuse never occurs to Melanie Taylor. Her own four-year-old daughter, Nessa, attends the Bishop Family Daycare next door to Kaitlyn's house. Her 15-year-old daughter, Paige, works at the daycare part-time.

But when Nessa wakes up screaming and calling Kaitlyn's name, Melanie is terrified. Especially since Nessa is covered in unexplained bruises. After talking to Kaitlyn's mother, Melanie begins to suspect the unthinkable. And worse - it seems like whatever is happening at the daycare, Paige is caught in the middle of it.

Melanie is desperate to protect both of her daughters. But she finds herself caught up in a hysteria that is bigger than her family. And someone is lying. Maybe everyone.


But some lies are bigger than others.

Read the first page here:

https://gutsygreatnovelist.com/page-one-prize-winners-2022/


Everything We Did Not Do

Complete, Seeking Publisher

Anne Marie celebrates when her elderly father, Cory, returns to Seattle from Paris to be near her. But when he withdraws emotionally - and starts to fall - she reluctantly hires a caregiver: 21-year-old Claudia. Claudia's instructions are simple: cook, clean, drive and be close in case Cory falls again. 

Eight weeks later, Anne Marie finds Cory dead of a heroin overdose. Claudia is gone. Convinced of her guilt, Anne Marie goes on a rampage seeking justice. By partnering with her prosecutor ex-husband, she ensures Claudia is an example to the world. The desperate single mother is sentenced to decades in prison. 

After building her identity upon Claudia's guilt, Anne Marie stumbles upon evidence that could exonerate her. Will she give up everything to free a woman she loathes? 

Contact Emily Williamson at https://www.esjwilliamson.com/contact-us for publication inquiries.

The Morning After

Flash Fiction

Waking up dazed, hungover and confused, Lila realizes the world isn't as she left it.