Guest Chick: Judy Penz Sheluk

The Chicks are happy to welcome back terrific mystery author Judy Penz Sheluk. In this visit, she shares about a fascinating short story collection she’s edited. It sounds great!

Heartbreaks & Half-truths

Some might say that a half-truth is the same as a lie. I’d like to refute that. Let me cite an example to prove my point:

I was in the tenth grade, summer was a sniff away, and I really wanted to go to my high school’s nighttime Drop-in Center. It was a place where kids went to play euchre, shoot hoops, and well, just hang out.

My mother, on the other hand, was beyond strict (she grounded me one day for every minute I was late for curfew). A Drop-in Center? As far as she was concerned, it sounded nefarious.

But I was almost fifteen with a will of my own. And so, one evening, I told her that I was going to the library (which happened to be located next to my high school). The library was met with approval. After all, people studied in libraries. Furthermore, steely-eyed librarians supervised those people.

Here’s the thing. I did go to the library. Even went inside for a couple of minutes. And then I hightailed it to the Drop-in Center, where I flirted shamelessly with the first boy who would end up breaking my heart. Let’s call him The Blond Haired Boy.

Did I lie to my mother? Technically, no. Of course, I also didn’t tell her the whole truth. That, my friends, is a classic example of a half-truth.

Now, it turns out The Blond Haired Boy was also fairly adept at spinning a half-truth, especially when it came to affairs of the heart. Or should I say, my heart. Because while I spent hours searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day card (two porcupines kissing, the message inside “I love you so much it hurts.”), and he claimed to be busy with schoolwork, he was actually getting busy with The Blonde Haired Girl. A girl with “experience.”

I could have dealt with that if he hadn’t dumped me on Valentine’s Day. By telephone. While I cried at my beautiful card, picked out of hundreds on display at Woolworth’s.

(Faithful readers will recognize the Valentine’s Day card from a scene in Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in my Marketville Mystery series, though I’ll admit to altering the situation somewhat. Another half-truth? I’ll let you decide.)

What I do know is that The Blond Haired Boy has once again provided inspiration, this time in providing the theme for the second anthology under my imprint, Superior Shores Press. So maybe my first heartbreak wasn’t such a bad experience, after all.

Then again, maybe that’s just another half-truth.

Judy cover

And now, a bit about Heartbreaks & Half-truths: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, available in trade paperback at all the usual suspects, and on Kindle (Kobo, Nook, Apple Books to follow at a later date).

Lovers and losers.

Whether it’s 1950s Hollywood, a scientific experiment, or a yard sale in suburbia, the twenty-two authors represented in this collection of mystery and suspense interpret the overarching theme of “heartbreaks and half-truths” in their own inimitable style, where only one thing is certain: Behind every broken heart lies a half-truth.

And behind every half-truth lies a secret.

Edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. Featuring stories by Sharon Hart Addy, Paula Gail Benson, James Blakey, Gustavo Bondoni, Susan Daly, Buzz Dixon, Rhonda Eikamp, Christine Eskilson, Tracy Falenwolfe, Kate Flora, John M. Floyd, J.A. Henderson, Blair Keetch, Steve Liskow, Edward Lodi, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Peggy Rothschild, Joseph S. Walker, James Lincoln Warren, Chris Wheatley and Robb T. White.

Amazon (trade paperback and Kindle):

Barnes & Noble (trade paperback):

Release Date: June 18

Publisher: Superior Shores Press



31 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Judy Penz Sheluk

  1. I’m glad that boy was good for something, since you got an awesome title out of his behavior. And who didn’t tell their parents they were going to one place when they really went somewhere else? That’s almost expected when you’re a teenager. Congrats on the new book!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I was in high school there was a bar downtown called The Library.

      Me: Mom, I’m going to the library … don’t wait up!
      Mom: Doesn’t the library close at 9?
      Me: Maybe, but by law they can stay open until 2.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. When I was in college, my friend volunteered at this nonprofit; the nickname of their headquarters happened to be the same as the local bar in town, so he went to the bar instead for a scheduled meeting. Oops!

        Liked by 4 people

  2. What a fabulous theme for a collection of short stories–love it!

    I certainly told my share of half-truths as a teenager (and some outright lies, as well…) But perhaps that what makes us good story tellers as adults!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for visiting us, Judy. The anthology sounds great! But those blond boys … sheesh. When my daughter was in high school she had a t-shirt that said, “Boys. Let’s throw rocks at them.” It made me laugh every time she wore it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Judy, you were too good for him! A strawberry blond kid was my first crush, or at least the first boy I didn’t think was icky — it was third grade! Just downloaded Heartbreaks & Half-truths — can’t wait to read!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. The Valentine’s Card!! (My antennae went up.) Love this post, Judy, though I’m sorry for the heartbreak. Hugs.

    Thank you so much for visiting us today! And congratulations on the anthology–looks fantastic and I can’t wait to read.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Aww, Judy, your story about the Blond Haired Boy was so sad. I used to edit teen romances (one of the lines was called Sweet Dreams) and our boss always insisted that covers with sad girls sold much better than covers with happy girls. (???) Anyway, we are so happy that you returned to Chicks to visit and tell us about this awesome short story anthology. Congrats!! (And I bet the Blond Haired Boy is very sad and sorry now)

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thanks for visiting us, Judy, and congrats on the anthology!

    Those half-truths are so perfect for mysteries–and handy for high school rule-bending. And, PS, my first kiss and heartbreak was also a Blond Boy, but it was a summer camp situation rather than a Valentine’s one. (Lisa, I bet it could have been a plot for Sweet Dreams!)

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s