10 Interesting Facts about The Best Laid Plans

I’m happy to welcome Canadian author and editor Judy Penz Sheluk. Today, Judy shares ten interesting facts about her first anthology, The Best Laid Plans.

Whoot! Today is release day for The Best Laid Plans, 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, the first anthology published by Superior Shores Press. Here are 10 facts about the book:

1. The original call for submissions went out October 18, 2018, with a deadline of January 18, 2018. Seventy-two stories were received for consideration, with authors submitting from Italy, Norway, UK, U.S., Canada, Australia, and South America.

2. Authors included in the collection come from the U.S., UK, Canada, and a German millennial living in Norway. Three are members of Sisters in Crime Toronto.

3. Stories range from 1,500 to 5,000 words. Each story is preceded by a one-page bio of the author, with a link to their website or social media site.

4. One author, Mary Dutta, celebrates her first fiction credit in the collection, with her story, “Festival Finale.”

5. For the cover, I wanted an hourglass seeping blood instead of sand, and commissioned S.A. Hadi hasan to do the illustration. I also wanted all the authors names listed, and not just the names of two or three well-known authors. Graphic artist Hunter Martin designed the final layout.

6. Scene breaks in the book are…you guessed it…tiny hourglasses.

7. Stories are set in a variety of locations, including a ski resort, subway station, hair salon, nursing home, art gallery, coffee shop, rural Oklahoma, China during the Ming Dynasty, and a suburban McMansion.

8. Protagonists include a computer programmer with a unique plan to “help” single women, an unhappy wife looking for ways to kill her under-employed husband, a widow desperately in love with a married man, a paid-for-hire hit man, a pair of ATVing brothers with robbery on their minds, a financial planner with a questionable client, and two best friends with a dubious go-fund-me plan.

9. Every story has an unexpected twist at the end; all tie in to the underlying theme of the best-laid plans.

10. After reading, you might never again drink another daiquiri, order another latte, eat another chocolate chip cookie, or look at seafood in quite the same way. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Whether it’s at a subway station in Norway, a ski resort in Vermont, a McMansion in the suburbs, or a trendy art gallery in Toronto, the twenty-one authors represented in this superb collection of mystery and suspense interpret the overarching theme of “the best laid plans” in their own inimitable style. And like many best laid plans, they come with no guarantees.

Stories by Tom Barlow, Susan Daly, Lisa de Nikolits, P.A. De Voe, Peter DiChellis, Lesley A. Diehl, Mary Dutta, C.C. Guthrie, William Kamowski, V.S. Kemanis, Lisa Lieberman, Edward Lodi, Rosemary McCracken, LD Masterson, Edith Maxwell, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Peggy Rothschild, Johanna Beate Stumpf, Vicki Weisfeld, and Chris Wheatley.


Editor Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series. Her short stories can be found in several collections. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense is available on Kindle and in trade paperback at all the usual suspects, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters/Indigo.

Happy Release Day!

6 responses to “10 Interesting Facts about The Best Laid Plans

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