Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Life Happens on the Stairs—Not Just A Teenage Love Story

I want to share today where some of my inspiration for Life Happens on the Stairs came from. When I was 5 years old, my parents packed us up and we moved to a small town in Tennessee called Morris Chapel. Actually, if you Google the name, I'm not sure they even consider it a "town" anymore, it's that tiny. Regardless, the area has always stayed close to my heart. The Counties in the area are famous for a few things. One of them being the infamous Buford Pussard. The Sheriff of McNary County who is known for his war against moonshining, prostitution, and so much more.


Another great landmark is Shiloh National Military Park. As a little girl, I remember driving around the park, checking out the battlefields and trails. I couldn't wait to see "The Bloody Pond" which to my great disappointment wasn't bloody anymore. The park is one of the best preserved landmarks of the Civil War. In 2010, I begged my husband that we take a short vacation to the area. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Walking the acres of land, my imagination went wild. I wanted to write something... I wasn't sure what, but I knew I wanted to include this piece of American history.

Rows and rows of fallen soldiers from the Battle of Shiloh April, 1862

The Bloody Pond
As I walked around the beautiful park, I was fixated on the trees. If only the trees could talk. Many of them would've been young saplings when the battle occurred, today still standing strong, wind blowing through the leaves as if they are whispering to each other memories of the war.

They say, the men fought so hard they shot all the blossoms off the peach and cherry trees.

Life Happens on the Stairs is not just a teenage love story. It's about family, love, second chances, and yes, history. Tyler Vaughn is fascinated with history. As he and Elsie spend time in the park getting to know each other, he tells her all about the place. In one scene, they go into the original Shiloh Methodist Church. As seen here:

If you've read LHOTS, you know exactly what happens in this scene. One of my favorites! 

Another scene takes place on the banks of the Tennessee River. 

The Tennessee River

Another view of the Tennessee River
The first day Elsie meets Tyler to go jogging, the path they jog is called "The Sunken Road." Here's what you read about:

The Sunken Road
These are just a few examples of how LHOTS is not just about two teenagers running around the park. There are history lessons, albeit secondary to the overall story, readers get a chance to roam a true landmark that deserves to be remembered and visited.

Today, the park is still trying to acquire the final eight acres of land to preserve the South end of where the battle took place. I wish I was a rich woman. I would make sure Shiloh had the money and the acreage. This may be a tall statement for me to make, but if LHOTS is successful enough for me to make the money to do so, I will be contributor to their ultimate dream. Landmarks like this need to be protected, remembered, taught, seen—We must learn from the past so we are guarded from repeating it. 

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Battle of Shiloh please visit this website. https://www.battlefields.org/visit/battlefields/shiloh-battlefield

All Rights Reserved. All photos shown are the property of Amy J. Markstahler. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


I am so excited to announce my debut novel Life Happens on the Stairs is available now! It has been a fantastic weekend, so much so, I forgot to write about it on my website! Better late than never, though. September 1st was an absolute blast as I spent the day online celebrating the release. I had many friends and family right there with me, some were even reading all day long, sending me updates and love for the story. I can't thank you all enough for making the day special!

The debut went from a Hot New Release on Amazon to a #1 New Release in YA genres. It's on sale for a limited time for .99 cents and is also available on Kindle Unlimited. I'm receiving wonderful feedback from readers. Reviews like this are popping up on Amazon already!

I read a lot! Having said that this is not my “typical” genre. However having said that I really really enjoyed this book. I read it in record time and it is as well written as any other and better than most. The story with its ups and downs is better than I expected. Take note young men Tyler Vaughn exhibits how you are supposed to act towards a young woman. Get to writing Mrs. Marstahler, you are obviously as talented a writer as Elsie is an artist. The reading world deserves more of your stories.

“Life Happens on the Stairs” is the story of a young woman as she overcomes life’s struggles leading to adulthood. That’s the simple description of a story that is MUCH more. It isn’t often that I find myself so immersed in a book that it makes me cry, but “Life Happens...” is one such book. Ms. Markstahler puts the reader “into” the story in such a natural way that you feel the life of the protagonist, Elsie Richardson -- her ups and downs. It’s funny, sweet, sad, and heartfelt. I absolutely loved it! This is, hands down, the best novel I’ve read in ages. If I could give it ten stars, I would.

One of the things I really love is when I come across an exciting new author, from time to time. Amy Markstahler definitely fits into that category. Her debut novel, Life Happens on the Stairs is romance the way it should be. Plenty of drama, plenty of angst and plenty of conflict, but with wonderful underlying values. Think of "Upstairs Downstairs" or "Downton Abbey" in 2018 and you have this wonderful story of the working class girl who falls for the grandson of the woman whose luxury southern mansion, she cleans for, to help out her mother. A wonderful story - great characters and a nail-biting will they/won't they relationship. I loved this.

Life Happens On The Stairs had me engrossed from page one to the end. First book in years I have read in one day while I was transfixed into the story.... Laughing, crying, saying noooo don't run.....what a great read and I am sorry It's over! Ready for book 2! .....and the movie version!

Thank you everyone for your wonderful words and reviews! I couldn't be more thrilled to have my debut novel be received with such praise!

A quick synopsis of Life Happens on the Stairs:
Elsie Richardson’s world crumbled when her dad dropped with 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.

I would also like to invite you to the Authors to Watch page and check out my interview with Eeva Lancaster. You can read what inspired me to write LHOTS plus a few more things, too!

http://www.eevalancaster.com/2018/08/authors-to-watch-amy-j-markstahler.html …

The paperback will be coming soon to order on an Amazon app near you! Hope everyone enjoys, or more so, falls in love with Life Happens on the Stairs!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

More Reviews for Life Happens on the Stairs

I've been really busy lately outside the writing and promoting front, and I'm finally able to catch up on some overdue work for LHOTS. Yesterday, I checked Goodreads and found two more five-star reviews! How exciting!! Here's part of one of them...

Reviews like that make this journey so rewarding! I'm beyond excited to see the future of Life Happens on the Stairs. My biggest hope is that readers will fall in love with it!

Check out other reviews on Goodreads. Just click the link!

You can always find LHOTS at: getbook.at/LHOTS

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Some Notes from a Beta-reader about LHOTS

I few months ago, I asked a friend of my daughter's to read Life Happens on the Stairs. She's a bright girl, who's very well versed in her English studies. I thought I'd share some of her comments in the manuscript. Nothing thrills an author more than to see compliments like this:

This is manna for a writer. I'm so grateful for her feedback and encouragement. Just a note: she let me know about the places that needed touched up, too. That's what makes a great beta-reader, honesty. 

Life Happens on the Stairs is available for pre-order now! Be sure to check out this award-winning young adult novel. 

Life Happens on the Stairs—There's no running when it's your turn. Love. Family. Second chances. 


Friday, July 6, 2018

Young Adults are in Love with Life Happens on the Stairs

I've been receiving some amazing reviews from the young adults reading Life Happens on the Stairs! Check this one out:

“Life happens on the stairs” by Amy Markstahler leads readers through a journey of heartbreak, unfair circumstance, strength, friendship, and unconditional love. The story flows and allows readers to escape into the life of Elsie, a young woman faced with every obstacle and accompanied by a gentleman strong and loyal enough to make any girl blush. The events that unfold throughout the book address issues commonly found throughout our day to day lives and other uncommon fates some can find harder to relate to, though this poses no problem. Author Amy Markstahler grips the reader and allows us to experience the book and relate as though its our own memories and experiences, one may find themselves on a rollercoaster of emotions. Characters, Elsie and Tyler fight the world with only love on their sides, over and over again it's only the others companionship that make life bearable, Will their love be strong enough to last or will families, fights, and rolling punches break them apart. This is not a book to be set down considering Author Amy Markstahler allows the reader to love the characters like their own and hate those that hurt them. “ Life Happens On The Stairs” is in every way a well written, smooth flowing story and a five star,  grand work of Art.
Sabrina James, Oregon

I'm so grateful for Sabrina's review! I'd love to know what you think, as well!

Life Happens on the Stairs is available for pre-order now.


Monday, July 2, 2018

What an amazing journey I'm on!

I am please to present to you the official book trailer, by Eeva Lancaster of The Book Khaleesi, for Life Happens on the Stairs:


I couldn't be more happy than I am today! Truly flying high as I watch LHOTS come to life for all of you! This is a dream come true, and I hope you will love this story as much as I do.

You can find LHOTS at:

Be blessed, and thank you for all your support!


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Welcome To My Author Page

The Breakthrough Novel Awards

I am so happy to announce that Life Happens On The Stairs is the winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Novel Awards! I'm honored and thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Eeva Lancaster of The Book Khaleesi-Author Services. She's a brilliant publicist, writer, editor, designer and so much more! I'm beyond excited that Life Happens on the Stairs is in good hands!

With all of that said, Welcome to my Authors page! 

This is the official website for (me) Amy J. Markstahler, and my young adult novel,  Life Happens on the Stairs. One day there will be more titles, but until then, lets take baby steps. 


We have a lot going on in the background, as we work on the finishing touches of Life Happens On The Stairs. Soon, the cover will be revealed, and then the party begins!

This journey has taken me through many emotions, taught me how to be tougher, stick with it, and most of all, believe in my dreams. It all started about this time of year, in 2013. I'd sent my son off to camp for the week, and decided I would sit down and just write. I didn't have a clue. In some ways though, ignorance is bliss. All first drafts are just that—drafts, and I wrote like I didn't have a care in the world. I didn't. No pressure. No expectations. I'd reunited with my first love, writing. By the end of the week, I'd cranked out 5000 words. I thought I was a machine! Little did I know . . . Over the next six months, I finished the whole story, then the hard part began—revising and questioning everything. Who will read it? Is it decent? What the heck is a query letter? Is that comma in the right place or not, for gods sake?!? From there the journey began, and after five years of hard work, my dream is coming true. 

I hope you'll join me on this rollercoaster ride. The ups and downs, pure panic attacks and ecstasy of the publishing journey. I know with Eeva Lancaster's expertise, our hard work and dedication, we are going to have a great time, bringing Life Happens On The Stairs to the world! 

Thanks again to the Breakthrough Novel Awards, the judges and Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi. Congratulations to all of the finalist, as well! 

Click here to check out The Book Khaleesi website  You'll find a variety of services they offer authors to get your book out there and noticed!