Last Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of reading Untimely Death by C.Yvette Spencer. It was my Mother’s Day gift to myself. And what a wonderful gift it turned out to be!
Untimely Death begins with Maria who owns her own clothing store. The day starts like any other ordinary day with Maria tending to the store. But by that afternoon, Maria begins to worry. She’s unable to reach Savannah – her assistant manager. When Maria still can’t reach Savannah after several more attempts, that fear becomes a genuine concern for her friend.
And as it turns out, Maria had every right to be concerned. A phone call brought Maria’s world to an abrupt and heartbreaking stop. Over the course of the book, we’re introduced to Savannah’s other friends and family. We also get to meet two hardworking and very likable detectives.
As the story unfolds, we’re drawn into the world of these characters. We’re also offered a glimpse into Savannah’s world – proving appearances aren’t always what they seem…
I read Untimely Death in two sittings. After Maria received that dreaded phone call, I couldn’t take my eyes off the page. I had to know how it was all going to play out. I will admit to being really surprised by the ending. I just didn’t see it coming. I remember staring at the page for a moment and wondering what I missed.
I realized after I finished reading that the author had left plenty of breadcrumbs for the reader to follow. So, I’ll be following those breadcrumbs much more closely when I read the other two books in the series. If you do decide to read Untimely Death, you’ll have to let me if you were as surprised by the ending as I was.
C.Yvette Spencer does a fantastic job weaving this story together. Untimely Death is fast paced and will keep your eyes glued to the page. She has an effortless writing style that engages and propels the reader forward. While this was the first book I read by this super talented author, it won’t be last.
Because I’m honored to count this talented author among my circle of friends, I asked Connie if she’d mind me asking her a few questions about her book and other things. I was thrilled when Connie so graciously accepted. Here’s what she had to say during our interview.
My very first author interview!
Connie: Twisted Lessons are a collection of books that all have different storylines but each ends with a twisted lesson (plot).
Me: What inspired you to write this wonderful book series?
Connie: I wanted to bring readers into the stories and elicit their emotions. Give them a crime to solve, like in Untimely Death. Wives with cheating husbands will relate to Nellie in Be Careful What You Pray For, who has her own way of getting even, or like Confessions in the Dark that pulls the reader in several directions. I wanted to give the reader something deep to think about, which is the subtitle of Twisted Lessons.
Me: In addition to the Twisted Lessons book series, what other books have you written?
Connie: The Passer, It’s Never Too Late: The Story of Gloria and Sadie, Desperate Struggles Trilogy: Mama Ain’t Dead Yet, By Any Means Necessary, and The Struggle Just Got Real, and for The Twisted Lessons Collection, Devil’s Prey, is due to publish very soon. The Twisted Lessons Collection are short stories, the others are all full-length novels.
Me: Which book would you consider your favorite and why?
Connie: It’s Never Too Late, The Story of Gloria and Sadie, my stage play turned novel that is currently being revamped . The elderly sisters are cruel and unpleasant, but it’s what happened to them over their lives that has created their bitterness. Their story plays out in three stages of their lives, all exploring their dramatic backgrounds and revealing who they will become. Towards the end, their story brings in a little humor to soften the blows of their devastating lives. This story hits home for many and hopefully will detour our judgmental lenses towards one another.
Me: I love the names of your characters. How do you choose such great names?
Connie: My character’s names are derived in a variety of ways. I often use family’s and friend’s names. (I always ask first). I’ve invited my readers to help me choose character’s names because I think it’s fun to include them in the story’s process. It helps them to feel connected to the characters, I think. When the storyline is periodically driven or the character is shaped around a cause, I make sure to use names based on that time frame or use names that have special meaning to me, like Gloria and Sadie. Gloria is my deceased mother’s name and “Sadie” Mae is a song my deceased brother would always sing.
Me: I also love your writing style. How would you describe it?
Connie: Simplicity, fun, full of drama and spiritually impacted. I like my stories to replicate our daily lives and conversations. We normally don’t speak in descriptive form when describing the scene on the way home from work or use a dictionary to talk to each other. We share stories that make us laugh, angry, cry, or judge each other. Those are the stories I like to create and the style that can be found in each of my books.
Me: I know what a busy schedule you have, Connie. Is there anything you’re working on right now?
Connie: Currently, I’m revamping my first two books. I’ve grown as a writer and I want those books to reflect my growth. I’ve also completed the next installment of Twisted Lessons titled Devil’s Prey, it will release soon and will be the fifth book of the collection. In addition, I have over twenty unfinished stories that are just craving for my attention.
Me: Not only are you a talented and accomplished author, you also own and operate a publishing business! Could you tell us about Busybee Publication?
Connie: Busybee Publication was created to help writers on a budget. People who are technology challenged, those who are going at it alone, and who have big publishing needs, but a small bank account. Editing, formatting, book covers, typing service, bios, writing companion, writing coach, marketing posts and marketing consultation are all offered.
Me: How can you be contacted at Busybee Publication?
Connie: I only use Facebook because it allows me to be personable with clients and remain connected with them long after they’ve published. I want to know how they are, how their books are doing, and what can I do to help. You can find my page here.
Me: With so many demands your time, how do you manage to fit everything in?
Connie: I schedule everything. My working hours start before seven in the morning and more oftentimes than less exceeds twelve midnight. Later, as it continues to grow, I’m hoping to hire people like myself, employment challenged because of age.
Me: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Connie: Take a moment to discover your passion and pursue it with all of your might. Years later will finally come one day and you will be able to look back over your life without regrets.
Me: Before I let you go, where can people connect with you?
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Connie!
Now before I let everyone else go, here’s a preview of Untimely Death and where you can find it on Amazon! Until next time, be kind to yourself.