“Answered Prayers” in Ellery Queen

I grew up reading Ellery Queen, so there’s always a special thrill when I end up in its pages — and on its cover! My story “Answered Prayers” is in the current issue. The title is from a quote by Teresa Avila, a 16th-century Carmelite nun who said, “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” Here’s how the story begins:

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” Mark said, leaning toward me across the table. In the warm candlelight of the restaurant, he looked like a movie star.
     “A surprise?” I asked nervously. Lately, his passion for me had been cooling, and we’d seen less of each other. I’d been devastated at the thought he was losing interest, and I hadn’t been sleeping well.
     “Do you want to guess?”
     “Did you get a new job? At a new magazine?”
     He shook his head. “It’s not about work. Not this time.”
     “Is… is your wife going away for a conference?” My voice was tentative. “So we’ll be able to spend more time together?”
     He smiled at me. “We will be spending a lot more time together, Carrie, but not because of any conference. I’m leaving my wife.”
     I watched Mark, waiting for him to burst my bubble. He’d said these words before, but they’d always been neutered when he added “next year” or “in a few months.” We’d been dating for three years, during which my heart had seesawed up and down as my hopes rose and ebbed. I’d finally admitted to myself that he’d never leave his wife, that I was just like all the foolish lovers who believed a cheater’s promise. Only it suddenly seemed that I had him all wrong.

If you want to read more, the May/June 2018 issue of Ellery Queen is on newsstands now. You can also buy the issue online… but why not get a subscription?


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