This is week three of my Flash Fiction Feature, introducing you to some of my awesome Christian writer friends. For the month of June, I challenged four of them to write a flash fiction piece for my blog…only I sent each of them the same photograph as inspiration. It has been fun to see how each one took the same photo and wrote such different stories! Tune in each Saturday of June to check it out…and leave a comment for a chance at the weekly GIVEAWAY! I’m so excited.

Please welcome the fabulous Amryn Cross!!

Amryn Cross

Amryn Cross is a forensic scientist and author of romantic suspense novels. As a lover of college football, Shakespeare, superheroes, and traveling, she is drawn to complex characters who aren’t always what they seem. Her novels are character-driven stories of people who face down some of life’s darkest moments and learn to reconcile that darkness with God’s light. She refers to these as “between the shadow and the soul” moments. Amryn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.


And here is the photo with which I challenged Amryn, and the other three writers.

By Amryn Cross

What a beautiful place for a murder.

Detective Amelia Soren knew better than to voice that, of course, but it didn’t make it any less true. Then again, this particular killer, who she’d been one step behind for months, did have a flair for the dramatic.

The mist currently drying on her bare face and arms gave the slender branches and moss covered rocks an ethereal feel. Something nearly palpable hung in the air, surrounding her and the body nearly buried in the leaves behind her. Was it fear? No. Amelia had never had much use for that. Still, something held her back from her usual all-encompassing examination of the body. All her senses remained on high alert.

Maybe she shouldn’t have followed this lead alone. Such was the burden of being ahead of the curve. Her partner said she thought too much like the killers they were trying to catch, but that was exactly the point. He’d thought she was crazy for following hunches in the past, but now she had a body to show for it. Plunging her hand into her pocket, she pulled out her cell phone and groaned. No reception.

Well, that settled it. She’d have to take photos on her phone and try to protect any evidence from the elements until she could hike back out of the forest and call for back up.

With each step she took in a wide circle around the body, her feet sunk into the spongy ground. A sharp bite of wind prickled the hair on her arms and the back of her neck.

Amelia froze, though she wasn’t sure why. Instinct. She’d learned long ago not to second guess them. With another scan of the forest surrounding her, she noticed for the first time how much the bare branches resembled bony fingers stretching to the sky—from the grave, reaching for salvation. It was enough to make her shiver.

Behind her, a branch snapped, and she whirled, gun drawn and at ready.

“Who’s there?” She was surprised at how steady her voice sounded given that she felt anything but.

After a moment of stillness, a shadow stepped from behind a tree about ten yards from her.  She recognized the silhouette immediately, and nearly dropped her gun in surprise.

“Fancy meeting you here.”



See why I just had to introduce her to you?

I encourage you to leave a comment below for a chance to win an electronic copy of Amryn’s Learning to Die. I’ll draw from all the commenters on Wednesday.


Learning to Die


A ghost running for her life…
Emily Fox died ten years ago, but she’s not dead enough for Endriago—head of the Colombian drug cartel who murdered her brother while she looked on.
A past she can’t escape…
Now living in Miami as criminalist Kate James and under the protection of the U.S. Marshals, Emily is explosively reunited with her past, propelling her headlong into a web of corruption.
A man who threatens everything…
Two men stand in her way—one threatens her heart, the other her life. Both underestimate her. Because in the race to solve her brother’s murder, she has nothing left to lose.


Check out Amryn’s other books on Amazon, too, or connect with her here: 

And, of course…Tune in next Saturday. Amanda Holland was the next writer to accept my challenge and write a story inspired by the same photo. Another giveaway, too!!

Blessings, Voni

Photo credit: Paul Baxter