Imagine you are safely in your home running your day-care business, when someone breaks in and everything is turned upside-down. You not only have yourself to save, but all the children as well.
This is the premise for “This Time You Lose,” a novel written by a local author who has now received national acclaim.
Chris Stralyn, of North Muskegon, is not someone who dreamed of being a writer. She had worked in many industries as a short-order cook, security guard, safety officer, teacher and child care provider, but never a writer.
But her writing career had to begin somewhere and that just so happened to be after a not-so-perfect family vacation. While in Florida, a wheel jumped off their van as Stralyn and her family were driving down the road.
“The accident and chain of events that followed made for a terribly unforgettable vacation,” Stralyn said.
Soon after returning from her vacation, a friend mentioned an essay contest for “The Worst Vacation Ever.” Stralyn thought her Florida vacation qualified and submitted an essay and won the contest.
Once she wrote one essay, she decided to write a novel, and used her surrounding as a basis for a new story.
Stralyn was living in North Muskegon when a string of break-ins were plaguing a nearby community. While running her day-care business out of her home, she began to wonder what she would do if her home was broken into while she had children there.
The story took off from there, and “This Time You Lose” was brought to life.
In the novel, Lisa Kaamp operates a small childcare business out of her home in the sleepy little town of Nogeksum (Muskegon spelled backward), Michigan. Highly respected and known to go the extra mile for the kids she watches, Lisa thought she knew how to handle every situation thrown at her.
Lisa wakes up one morning to find herself bound and gagged in her room, with four men holding the day care children hostage in another room. The men terrorize her while police try to meet the ransom deadline, but Lisa knows that one of the men has no intention of letting anyone go.
Lisa must find a way to get everyone out alive, but must do the unimaginable to save everyone.
Stralyn self-published the book in October 2011 after working on the novel for about four years.
“This Time You Lose” was recently named a finalist for the Best Indie Books Award by the Kindle Book Review. The Best Indie Books 2012 Award is given to the best independent and small press Kindle books published between April 1, 2011 and April 1, 2012.
“I was absolutely astounded,” Stralyn said. “While I’d received a good number of favorable reviews for ‘This Time You Lose,’ as a debut novel I never anticipated that it would go so far as to be named a finalist for the Best Indie Book Award.”
Stralyn is a member of the White Lake Library Writers Group, and one of several members from the group that has gone on to publish their work.
She is currently promoting “This Time You Lose,” and also finishing up a few story projects she began last summer. She has also begun work on a sequel to “This Time You Lose.”
For more information on Stralyn and her writing, visit thistimeyoulose.com.
The book is available locally at The Book Nook and Java Shop, Keefe’s North Muskegon Pharmacy, the Hackley Hospital Gift Shop and all Hometown Pharmacies throughout Michigan. Both print and Kindle editions are also available on amazon.com.