Full-length YA novel published 2018. Click cover to view on Amazon.
If reincarnation were fact, would you be guaranteed rebirth on the same planet?
The Department of the Afterlife on Aleya has a lengthy history of reincarnation errors, and for a 23-year-old waitress named Suzan, death didn’t go as expected. In fact, it went downright wrong; she found herself being redirected in a “go towards the light—no wait, actually not that light, go down the hall to the left and go to that one, past the fountain” scenario and ended up on planet Earth. Gilbert Chalk’s new neighbor isn’t exactly your average girl next door; she’s from the universe next door.
Until the auditors of the afterlife correct their mistake, Suzan is left with nothing but time to find out what it means to be alive, to be dead, and to use a West Texas food truck as an interplanetary mobile phone. Gilbert discovers a bizarre connection to Suzan’s home planet, but unfortunately Aleya isn’t the way she left it. How do you ever get back home when everything about “home” has changed? Do you really want to go back?
Corpus Christi Writers 2022: An Anthology features a short story by Mandy Ashcraft entitled "Two Lanes". Click the cover to view on Amazon. Copyright 2022 by Mays Publishing.
"She watched a truck, a red truck with a flag swinging from the rearview mirror, transforming traffic into some high-speed obstacle course. Its obstacles were people like her; the recklessness felt personal, as if her life mattered less and that swinging flag and red paint were willing to risk whatever she had to offer the world. Which honestly wasn’t much. Did that matter? The at-times subliminal, itching question mark that punctuates all of life’s purported meanings left her wondering if maybe the truck was right. Maybe the red paint knew it. Maybe the flag swung to mock her, because what did she have to offer? She eased up on the brakes and the rearview mirror clawed at her eyes with sharp reflections of the truck’s rectangular taillights. It was almost out of sight. It didn’t even care. She wondered what made a person so thoughtless, so careless. Who didn’t love them? Who didn’t teach them? Then again, who loved her? She hated them because it was possible they were loved more, and that red paint was screaming through traffic about how nice it was to be loved. She resented the behavior because it wasn’t about her, and yet somehow it was."
Corpus Christi Writers 2021: An Anthology features a short story by Mandy Ashcraft entitled "Every Time My Phone Rings You Die". Click the cover to view on Amazon. Copyright 2021 by Mays Publishing.
"I have been left to absorb the pain the syringes have promised to rid you of. Your numbness amplifies my suffering; your self-inflicted blood stains write the pages of my own life story. Every time the phone rings, for a brief synaptic instance, you are gone this time. But if not this time, next. Every single fucking time my phone rings, you die."
Corpus Christi Writers 2020: An Anthology features a short story by Mandy Ashcraft entitled "Striptease Podcast, Episode #97". Click the cover to view on Amazon. Copyright 2020 by Mays Publishing.
“'She fed them information by way of that mop closet production carefully, and in a context that had their brains drunk on a cocktail of hormones and fear; it was like being spooned a nice winter squash bisque through a glory hole."
Corpus Christi Writers 2019: An Anthology features a short story by Mandy Ashcraft entitled "Utopia". Click the cover to view on Amazon. Copyright 2019 by Mays Publishing.
"The locals enjoyed a sip of wine on an occasional stroll through the displays, where vintage canvas pieces from the pre-utopian days were neatly arranged, and they always politely commented on the lovely color schemes. They were remarkable to look at, full of emotions the people there had never had a reason to feel, and so their brush-stroke language was foreign. It didn’t translate. The pieces hung on the walls, screaming a history that no one could understand. Something in Marcy could hear them, though; distinctly, in an otherwise deafened room. She’d discovered this at a young age. She returned to the gallery often, without explanation, to quietly share in a sensation otherwise confined to its own timeline. This way of living was better, they’d said, because everything is perfect when nothing is ever unbalanced. When nothing is ever wrong. When no one is ever cruel. There was no paint color that quite resonated with the innocence of having felt nothing. Virgin brains were carried by the people of Marcy’s town, with untouched neurological receptors. They knew how to love, they experienced passion, in the same way a greeting card expresses such things. Flat. Superficial. Well-intended, of course, but lacking a beating heart. The paintings on the walls sobbed alone."
Corpus Christi Writers 2018: An Anthology features a short story by Mandy Ashcraft entitled "Cabbage of Earth". Click the cover to view on Amazon. Copyright 2018 by Mays Publishing.
“'Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?' Charlie felt a pang of guilt, scrambling for the comfort of a classic phrase generally held in high regard. Was it not always better to be safe than sorry?
'But what if we’re safe and sorry?'"
-The Door was Blue
-Fizz (a play in two acts)