Fiction Friday: Guest post with author Chelsea Michelle – a free chapter of Hours We Regret

This week I don’t have anything to share for Fiction Friday so I invited some authors to help me out and A.M. Heath is one of them!

This week Anita is sharing a chapter of Hours We Regret by Chelsea Michelle, her pen name with fellow author Amanda Tero. This novella, which you can get for free (see the link after the excerpt) is a Watson Twins Mystery and is listed in Christian Fiction as a cozy mystery.

And just a heads up for those of you who know about my next book, Gladwynn Grant Gets Her Footing – I’ve pushed back the release date by a month so I will have time to send the book out to beta readers and editors and give them more time to help me polish up the book before I release it all to you.

You can pre-order it here:

Now, without further ado, a description of Hours We Regret.

Hours We Regret Description: 

A serial killer. A dangerous road. And a cell phone going straight to voicemail…

A string of murders happening just across the state line makes residents of idyllic Maple Springs nervous. While Michelle Watson is obsessed with finding the killer’s pattern, her twin Chelsea disagrees with her involvement.

Reading the victims’ stories makes Michelle face the decisions she’s been trying to ignore. Determined to live her life to the fullest, she makes an innocent choice that takes a life-threatening turn.

When Michelle stops answering her phone, Chelsea can’t ignore the feeling that something is wrong. Very wrong. With friends and family, Chelsea sets out to find her sister, all while questioning if her faith is strong enough to weather the trial. 

Time is running out and the last thing Chelsea wants to do is file a missing person’s report for her twin.

An excerpt

Chapter 1


“He’s getting closer,” I muttered, staring down at the new dot on the map. 

“Who is?” my sister asked, walking into the kitchen from behind me. 

I froze. 

Chelsea poured a glass of chocolate milk. “Michelle?” 

With a deep breath, I shoved the newspaper into her line of vision. 

“Not another one.” 

I tried to swallow past the lump in my throat. “Yep.” Lord be with her family. My heart yearned to say so much, but it too was clogged. 

Over my shoulder, Chelsea groaned. 

I closed my eyes and waited for her rebuke. 

“A map? You made a map of this man’s killings?” 

“I wanted to see if there was a pattern.” I turned to face her, staring back into a face identical to my own. 

She was getting ready for work, so she wore the cute striped blouse I ached to get my hands on and an understated knee-length pencil skirt. 

“What kind of pattern were you expecting to find?” 

I shrugged, staring back at the map. “I don’t know. It was just a hunch I wanted to trace out. There was an episode of Diagnosis Murder where the bomber was spelling his name across the town.” 

“That’s sick.” She took a long drink. 

“So far they have that much in common.” My eyes bounced from dot to dot, but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for where the serial killer struck. 

His victims were all women he had run off the road, but I couldn’t dwell on the other known factors of what they had in common. 

“We need to put trackers on our phones,” I muttered under my breath. 


I angled away, reaching for a bagel to toast. “Yeah, and buy some mace.” I snapped my fingers, spinning around to Chelsea. “And code words. We need code words.” 

She stared at me blankly. “Michelle, we are not getting code words.” 

“Why not?” I split my bagel and dropped it into the toaster before leaning against the counter and crossing my arms. “They could come in handy someday. You never know.” 

She rolled her eyes. “One: Because I refuse to live in fear. Two: I refuse to entertain you as you live in fear. And three: I would know if something was off. Few people are as in sync as we are.” 

She had to bring up the innate twin connection as her argument. I chewed the inside of my lip as the toaster popped. “We can at least start with the trackers and the mace, and discuss the code words later.” 

Chelsea stared at me. I knew what was coming even as she opened her mouth and said, “Psalm 37 says, ‘Do not fret because of evildoers.’”

I wracked my mind for the rest of the passage. “It also says, ‘Trust in the Lord and do good.’” I made sure to emphasize the last part. 

Chelsea raised an eyebrow. “It also says ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way… who brings wicked schemes to pass.’”

My mind scrambled. I was not going to let Chelsea win this argument. It wasn’t right to just turn a blind eye to wickedness. I grinned and paraphrased James 4:17, “To know to do good and not do it is sin.”

Chelsea opened, then closed her mouth.

I grinned in triumph.

“Look,” Chelsea said with a sigh. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t help to work against evil. I just don’t think we need to insert ourselves when it isn’t in our path—when in reality the only thing we’re doing is worrying, not actively helping.”

I waved toward the counter. “I have a map. I am actively helping.”

Chelsea picked up her purse and keys and gave me an incredulous look. “Do you even realize how that sounds?”

“Ummm … Like I’m brilliantly inserting myself.”

She rolled her eyes. 

“And before you tell me that it’s not my job, let me remind you that it’s the job of every citizen to help find him. They said, and I quote, ’If you know anything or see anything suspicious please call.’” I pointed again to the counter. “I’m looking for suspicious patterns … and trying to keep us from being victims in the process.”

She let out a sigh. “You know that’s not how it works. I’m gonna be late for work. Bye.” She started for the door. 

“You can’t be serious, Sea. You’re really going to leave without giving me a goodbye hug? This could be the last time you see me, you know.” 

That earned me another famous glare, the I’m-older-than-you, please-be-sensible type of glare that I was always getting from her. “I refuse to live in fear with you, Michelle.” She opened the door.

I yelled back, “I refuse to live in denial with you, Chelsea!” 

“Ha.” She shut the door. 

I scurried across the room and flung the door open, yelling for all the neighborhood to hear, “I love you!”

She turned around, her face a pretty shade of red and silent laughter bubbling out. 

I waved over my head at Ms. Rhonda, our neighbor, who paused her weeding to wave a dirty garden-gloved hand back at us both. “Morning girls.” 

“Morning, Ms. Rhonda,” we said together. 

“Your roses are still looking great,” I said. 

Chelsea walked closer to her car. 

I kept an eye on her as I smiled back at Ms. Rhonda. 

“Did you not hear me, Chelsea?” 

“I heard you,” she said. “I’m going to be late for work.” 

“Not until you say it back.” 

She pinched her lips together. 

I angled my chin in equal stubbornness. 

But time was on my side because Chelsea hated to be late. After only a moment’s stare off she caved. “I love you too.” 

“What? I can’t hear you.” 

“I love you too,” she said a little louder. 

“See? Was that so hard?” 

“Some days it is.” 

I stuck my tongue out at her. 

She laughed and got in her car. 

I went back inside, the trail of the serial killer mocking me from the kitchen counter. 

After spreading cream cheese on my bagel, I scooped up the paper and brought it with me to the table. 

The new victim was twenty-four, which remained in the twenty to thirty-five range he seemed to favor. 

A chill ran down my spine. We were twenty-six and well within that range. 

The article spelled out how beloved she had been to her community. She was saving up for a trip to France but never got the chance to take it. 

Tears burned behind my eyes. So much life was left for her to live, but he selfishly stole it from her. 

Too sick to finish my breakfast, I threw it away and took a shower. 

Author Bio and a Link to the novella:

Christian authors, Amanda Tero and A.M. Heath bring you faith-based, cozy mysteries under Chelsea Michelle. 

Amanda Tero grew up attending a one-room school with her eleven siblings—and loved it! She also fell in love with reading to the point her mom withheld her books to get her to do her chores. That love of reading turned into a love of writing YA fiction. Amanda is a music teacher by day and a literary guide by night, creating stories that whisk readers off to new eras and introduce them to heroic but flawed characters that live out their faith in astonishing ways.

Visit Amanda Tero at 

A.M. Heath is the author of the 2022 Selah Finalist, Painted Memories. She enjoys writing stories that entertain while feeding the soul in contemporary and historical settings. 

When away from her desk, she’s a faithful member of her local church where she teaches a ladies’ Sunday School class. She is happily married and raising four kids while embracing the small-town lifestyle and tightly woven family bonds. 

Visit A.M. Heath at

Read Hours We Regret for FREE!

Follow Chelsea Michelle on YouTube:

Or chat mysteries with them in their Facebook Group:

4 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: Guest post with author Chelsea Michelle – a free chapter of Hours We Regret

  1. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: Slogging through a couple of books, warmer weather, and old TV shows | Boondock Ramblings

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