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Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers


I’m so fortunate to have five wonderful fathers in my life. I grew up watching “Father Knows Best” and thought he was the ideal dad. He was kind, understanding, and always had time for his kids. He dispensed hugs and gentle advice. Not what I got for a father. No hugs, super busy (a full-time job plus a small business operator), barked orders, manufactured chores, issued advice like a general issues orders. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I began to understand my dad. With a large family (I’m the oldest of seven), he had the responsibility to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Hence the two jobs. Hubs described Dad as having a “bull in the woods” style. It was what he knew at work and how he treated us kids. He believed in “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” He kept us busy so we wouldn’t get into trouble. He insisted I go to college, even though I had to pay my own way. He taught me to look around and see what needs to be done, rather than wait to be told. As an adult, I understood my dad better. 

My father-in-law was a gentle soul. I met him after he retired, so he always had time for us, especially his grandchildren. When we moved 500 miles away, he and Hubs’ mother visited two or three times a year. I never saw him angry—although Hubs did as a kid, especially when science experiments went wrong. He never complained about the long hours of dialysis that he endured for over ten years. Instead, he used that time to write long letters to us and poems on yellow legal pads. The subject of his poems was family—often at the expense of MIL and her sister. If anyone else read the poems, they’d call them doggerel. We call them precious.

I met my son-in-law when he was sixteen and started to hang around our house. He and our daughter went to college together, got engaged, waited until he started medical school before getting married. It was always evident that he loved our daughter. More importantly, he respected her. She supported them by teaching all through his medical school and residency. When he was hired by a hospital, he told her she didn’t need to work. It was her choice. She chose to work part-time, and he supports that plus all her volunteer work. What impresses me most is how he is with his children. Loving, caring, gentle but firm.

My son didn’t marry until he was thirty-eight. He had his first child a year later. From how he was around his niece and nephew, I had a good inkling as to how he would be as a father. In reality, he’s been over the moon with Toddler Girl. It’s like he can’t get over this precious little girl. He’s over-protective at times but so loving. Working in a restaurant means long hours and, usually, no weekends off. While daughter-in-law works, Toddler Girl is home with him on his days off. Just like a mother carts the kid around when she shops, he takes her to Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as to the park and splash pad. How he will manage when the twins come (in November) will be interesting to watch. I’m sure it will be a challenge, but he’ll manage in the same loving, patient way.



I’m always amazed that I was lucky enough to marry a man who would turn out to be such a great father. It’s no wonder since he had a great role model. Men in my father’s and father-in-law’s generation left parenting up to the mothers. My dad would no sooner change a dirty diaper than cook a meal. Not Hubs. He did his share of diaper changing and cleaning up after a sick kid. When he realized how much of his children’s lives he was missing because of long hours at work, he changed jobs. Neither of us grew up with parents who volunteered at our schools. Yet, he was active with our son’s Boy Scout troop and mentored kids in Odyssey of the Mind. He encouraged our kids to find solutions instead of telling them what to do. He supported their choices even when he didn’t agree. Like his father, he’s always had a gentle way about him. Not one to say “I love you”, he proves it by his actions. Being a grandfather brought out so much of that love. He’s warm and caring with the grandkiddies. A natural teacher, he encourages them to try new things, showing them how to handle tools in a safe way, how to build things, and when their patience ends, his doesn’t. He was/is a wonderful father/grandfather. Loving, caring, patient.

How did I get so lucky to know/have known these great fathers? Happy Father’s Day to them and to all dads.




Saturday, June 17, 2017

#WeWriWa The Protector: Rescue the Kids #sfr


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

This snippet is from my sci-fi romance, The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel). In last week's snippet, one of Rissa's servers races into the tavern crying that her baby was gone. Rissa gathers some helpers, and they race to spaceport to stop the traffickers from leaving.

They raced to the end of the alley then casually crossed the street to the alley behind Fortuna’s Pleasure House. As they rounded the corner of the sand-colored building, they picked up speed then nearly ran over a slight figure dressed as they were in baggy, multi-pocketed shirts and trousers made of coarse-spun.
Fortuna kept her voice low, “I can’t believe this is happening, just as you predicted.”
Rissa slowed down to keep pace with her friend saying, “Seems logical with three kids missing.”
“Three? I thought only a baby.”
“Two boys are gone, too. Traffickers are hitting more colonies in this system, so it was bound to happen here.”
“I’d feel better if we had more help--damn those people who didn’t believe you.”


As always, apologies for the creative punctuation, which was done to keep within the sentence limit.

Who knew rescuing two girls from traffickers would bring down a world of hurt?

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from returning. Mining heir Dillan Rusteran has loved her for years. Little do they know that by rescuing more children they're tangling with a galactic trafficking ring.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ B&N ~ iTunes




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet Author Lois Winston @Anasleuth

I'm excited to welcome Lois Winston today. I've been reading her books since the first Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun. :She is one of my favorite mystery writers. Total fan girl here. 😊

Let's meet Lois Winston.



Welcome, Lois. Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a USA Today bestselling author who writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction. My critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews dubbed it, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” (I’m planning to have that etched on my gravestone!) In addition, I’m an award-winning craft and needlework designer and often draw upon my experiences in the crafts industry for much of my source material for characters and plots.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Most of the plot ideas (and some of the characters) in my books come from actual events I’ve experienced, observed, or read about in the news. I’m a total news junkie! For instance, Finding Hope was inspired by my cousin’s failed attempts at in vitro fertilization and a case in Virginia where a fertility doctor was secretly using his own sperm to inseminate his patients.

Literally Dead, the second book in my Empty Nest Mystery series was inspired by my experiences attending a certain national writing conference over the years (although to the best of my knowledge, no murders were ever committed at any of them.)

What does your family think of your writing?

Truthfully? With few exceptions most of my family haven’t read my books. I wasn’t born into a close-knit supportive family, nor was my husband. Perhaps if I’d make it to the New York Times bestseller list, some of them might decide to pick up one of my books. Making the USA Today bestseller list certainly didn’t sway anyone. But you know what they say: you can’t choose your relatives.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

To date I’ve written fifteen novels (including one middle-grade novel) and am working on the sixteenth. I’ve also written ten novellas and short stories, one critical essay that appeared in an anthology, and a nonfiction book on writing.

As for a favorite, that’s like asking a parent to choose her favorite child. However, I will say that there are two that stand out for me—Talk Gertie To Me because it was my first published novel and Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun because it launched my mystery writing career.

What did you learn from writing your first book?

I learned that I had a lot to learn about writing a novel. But I didn’t give up. Twelve years and countless rewrites later, that book, Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception, sold to a New York publisher.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?

Don’t go to art school! Major in something where you’ll have a good chance of making a decent living throughout your working life and won’t have to worry about spending your golden years living in a cardboard box on the street.

What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?

In my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, Anastasia works as the crafts editor at a women’s magazine. To make ends meet after her dead louse of a spouse leaves her with debt equal to the GNP of an average third world nation, she moonlights at various craft-related jobs. At one time or another I’ve worked at many of the same jobs. I’ve been a crafts designer for several craft companies and a crafts editor for two craft book publishers. I’ve freelanced for many craft and women’s magazines. I’ve also worked trade and consumer shows and taught arts and crafts. In Death By Killer Mop Doll Anastasia works on a morning TV show. Although I’ve never worked in front of the camera, years ago I designed for several TV crafts shows.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

That would depend on your preferred genre. If you’re a mystery reader, I suggest Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. There are currently five full-length books in the series and three mini-mysteries. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but I always feel it’s best to start a series at the beginning.

If you’re a romance reader, I’d go with Hooking Mr. Right. If you like your romance coupled with suspense, try Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception. For chick lit I recommend Talk Gertie To Me, and for women’s fiction, Finding Hope.

Tell us about your latest release.


My latest release is Literally Dead, the second book in my Empty Nest Mystery series. This series is my homage to Nick and Nora Charles of the 1930’s Thin Man comedic mysteries, except I give a modern day twist to the husband and wife crime solvers, making the wife my sleuth and her college professor husband her sidekick.

As with my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, my Empty Nest Mystery series falls into the amateur sleuth mystery sub-genre and combines humor and crime solving.


Literally Dead
Book 2 of the Empty Nest Mystery Series

After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.

Excerpt from Literally Dead:

As I hauled myself up the first set of steps, that old adage about the road to hell being paved with good intentions popped into my head. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, especially given all the alcohol I’d consumed over the course of the evening.

By the time I reached the first landing, my heart pounded and my pulse raced. Jeez! Was I ever out of shape! I leaned up against the wall to catch my breath and wondered how many calories I’d burned climbing one flight of stairs. Probably nowhere near the number of calories in a frozen margarita. While I waited for my heart to slow down to normal, I pulled out my iPhone to ask Siri, only to discover I had no cell service in the stairwell.

I slipped my phone back inside my clutch bag. At least five minutes passed before I’d regained enough energy to continue. Grabbing hold of the railing, I inhaled a deep breath of fortitude and started my ascent up the next flight. No matter the number of calories, I was burning more than if I copped out and took the elevator the remainder of the way.

Halfway up the third set of stairs I heard what sounded like the fire door slamming open against the concrete-block wall of the stairwell. A split second later a bloodcurdling scream echoed above me. I looked up to find a billowing mass of tie-dyed rainbow chiffon plummeting toward me. As I flattened myself against the wall, Lovinia Darling’s body landed with a bone-shattering thud at my feet.

I didn’t need a degree in forensics to know Lovinia Darling was dead. The top half of her body sprawled upside-down on the steps in front of me, her lower half splayed across the landing above. Dull, lifeless eyes stared up at me. Blood flowed from a large gash in her skull where her head had hit the metal edge of the concrete step and dripped toward me. I quickly descended two steps to avoid the spatter.

My entire body shook as realization hit me. If I’d rested a second less on the landing earlier, Lovinia would have fallen directly on top of me, most likely killing us both.

I’d already come too close to death once this year, thanks to Sidney Mandelbaum. Once was more than one time too many, but did the universe take my needs into consideration? I stared at Lovinia. Apparently not.

I fought to keep my legs from collapsing under me. I knew I had to move. My phone didn’t work in the stairwell. Holding onto the railing for dear life, I inched my way back down the stairs to the floor below.

Once in the corridor, I crumbled into a heap on the floor. This particular corridor was in mid-remodel, the carpet already pulled up but new flooring not yet laid. I was too freaked out and tired to care about the plaster dust and assorted yuck covering the bare concrete and the damage it might do to my favorite little black dress. I fumbled for my phone, and with unsteady hands, managed to call 911.

Buy Links

One last question, Lois. Where can readers find you?

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Thanks for visiting with us, Lois. I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Endings and Beginnings

Although summer doesn't officially start for another week, it arrived for children in our town on Friday with the last day of school. Mothers posted on Facebook Last Day of School pictures side by side with the First Day last fall. We all marveled at how much the kids had grown. End of the school year brings relief to kids and teachers (I remember that time well).


Yesterday, we attended our granddaughter’s dance recital, the culmination of another year of classes. From the tiny (two-year-olds) kids to the most experienced, they showed off their talent. I love watched g-daughter dance. She may not be the best dancer, but she has the biggest smile. Dancing gives her so much joy.

Around neighborhoods like ours, graduation parties proliferate. Tents sprout like spring flowers. Not for fear of rain this year, but for shade because of the heat wave spreading across the country. Pictures and memorabilia show how much the graduate has accomplished and changed through the years. Families interrogate her/him on plans for the future. (Friends already know. LOL)

What’s next?

As a part of their lives ends, another begins. University, community college, trade school, job. Graduates are thrilled to be finished with school and anxiously anticipate this next phase. Younger kids look forward to a whole summer of nothing to do. Hah! Summer camp—science, math, sports—day care, library reading challenges, scheduled events.

Each year around this time, my daughter asks her kids what they want to do during the summer then writes the list on poster paper, and tapes it in a visible place. As they do each item, they check it off. Last year, my grandson went to a local college for two week-long science camps. He had so much fun I asked him if he was going to do it again. He said no. He didn’t want to do anything. My son said that one summer, but he was a bit older.

There’s a lot to be said about over-scheduling kids. Somehow, parents have to find a balance. Kids need breaks from the regimentation of school, to hang out with their friends, to have quiet time, to do nothing. I was raised with the mentality that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” My dad left chore lists each day. We had a large vegetable garden that needed constant weeding. All I wanted to do was find a shady spot and read.

With every ending, there’s a new beginning. Like weddings. The end of single life and the beginning of a shared life. My youngest niece will be married next month. I love those times when families get together and celebrate.

On a side note, last Friday I had an anniversary of sorts—the day I met my husband. If you’ve been a reader of this blog or my books, you know that we met as a result of a blind date. When he called to set up the date, we talked for over an hour, discovering mutual interests and that we lived in the same apartment complex. That first date happened forty-five years ago. As I write in all my books, how glad I am that our friends fixed us up on that blind date.


Tomorrow is my turn over at Paranormal Romantics. I hope you pop in and see what I talk about.




Saturday, June 10, 2017

#WeWriWa The Protector My Baby is Gone! #sfr


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.






This snippet is from my sci-fi romance, The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel). This week, I'm skipping ahead. After Rissa rescued two young teen girls from traffickers, life went back to normal for about a tenday.

Urgent pounding and a fem calling Rissa’s name made her rush through the kitchen and yank open the door to the alley. As Sophira, her part-time server, stumbled into the kitchen, she cried, “My baby’s gone—someone took my baby girl.”
A knife jammed into Rissa’s heart. No.
“You must help me.” The fem’s terror made her shiver to the point of collapse. As Rissa helped her to a stool next to the island, she cried, “I know you can. You must find my baby girl. I know what you did—” She shifted her gaze to Pela.
The knife in Rissa's heart twisted at the thought of another baby girl stolen.


As always, apologies for the creative punctuation, which was done to keep within the sentence limit.

Who knew rescuing two girls from traffickers would bring down a world of hurt?

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from returning. Mining heir Dillan Rusteran has loved her for years. Little do they know that by rescuing more children they're tangling with a galactic trafficking ring.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ B&N ~ iTunes



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG: Frustration


It's the 1st Wednesday. Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!  

I'm late but here. I’m having a hard time with time, lately. For one thing, there’s not enough of it. And what there is flies by too quickly. Can you believe it’s June already? I’m frustrated when I don’t write each day. Other commitments get in the way—like baby-proofing our house and preparing for our son and family plus two dogs to arrive at the end of the month for an indefinite stay (until they find a house). I’m thrilled about them moving here from Arizona. Not so thrilled about about cleaning out closets (long overdue) and my office to make room for them. It's taking away my writing time.

Of course, frittering away time playing solitaire and mahjong doesn't help. Nor does reading email and interesting blogs.

At night, I lay awake thinking about what’s going to happen next in my WIP. Just when I think I should get up and write, I fall asleep. I concentrate on the WIP that I’m not writing, figuring that will free my subconscious for the one I am. Does that sound crazy? I probably am. Just a bit. I’m writing a novella (tentatively called Jailbirds and Wedding Bells) that takes place between Books 1 and 2 of my Alex O’Hara PI series. But I long to get back to my sci-fi romance, The Spy. Frustrating. BTW, I do this often—have two (sometimes more) works in progress. While writing one, the other calls.

So that’s where I am this month. I’m sure writing this summer will be challenging with our house guests. Will frustration be my theme next month? I hope not.

The question this month is if you ever said "I quit" what made you come back to writing?

I never actually said I quit, I just did for about four stressful years. Too many family obligations that sucked the creativity out of me. When that ended, I decided to write for me, not for publication. That's when I found the enjoyment I experienced when I first started writing. The more I wrote for fun, the desire to publish returned. Nine books later, I'm still having fun, even when I'm frustrated. LOL

Have a great month!


 Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today. 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday Morning Rant

I try to make my posts light, entertaining. But not today.

First, my heart goes out to the people affected by the terrorists’ acts in the UK. As I write this, “breaking news” just announced multiple fatalities in Orlando. How can these vicious horrors happen? When will we feel safe again?

I shouldn’t watch the news. It is so upsetting. Do I play the ostrich and bury my head in the sand? At times, yes. I felt the same way in the early 1970s when the Viet Nam war and Nixon’s Watergate dominated the news.

I’d rather read or watch movies. Or work on my new story. But how can I concentrate with the news proclaiming one horrific “breaking news” after another? That sounds selfish. And it probably is. How many times can we get upset over terrorists (foreign and domestic) before we become inured to the horrifying news? Until we turn off the news so we don’t hear it?

Yet, I wonder how many people like me feel like we can do nothing to change things. Our representatives and senators who are supposed to be servants of the people don’t listen to us. They’re too busy planning the next election or obeying lobbyists instead of their constituents. They don’t work a full year, they give themselves raises (yet deny raises to social security), they give themselves lifetime pensions and phenomenal healthcare. They need to give us their healthcare programs or live on what they devise for us.

In what world, do you get a pension and free healthcare after you’ve been fired? Our leadership dares to call social security and medicare entitlements. They are the ones with the entitlements.

Okay, that’s my tirade for the day. I really do need to get back to my work-in-progress.

On a lighter note: the Arizona trips are at an end. Our son and his family are moving here at the end of this month. All my children and grandchildren will be living in the same town as we do for the first time since the mid-1990s. Can’t wait for them to get here.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

#WeWriWa - The Protector: Why Does Rissa Help? #sfr

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.


This week's snippet is from my sci-fi romance, The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel). Rissa rescued two young teen girls from traffickers and taken them to her quarters above her tavern. She just returned from getting clothes for them while they bathed. Pela is the older, more defiant one; Anaris, the more frightened.

Pela broke the silence, saying, “What are you going to do with us?”
Rissa sat on the end of her bed across from them and said, “I can find transport so you can return home.”
“No,” Pela said sharply, “I won’t go back.”
Anaris looked even more frightened and whimpered, “Please don’t.”
With delicate probing, Rissa got their stories—both girls had been sold by their fathers to the traffickers—and her heart twisted for them. How could a parent not appreciate the gift of life given to them?
After Rissa reined in her anger, she said, “You have a choice where to go, what to do--nobody will force you.”
Pela stood in front of Rissa and said, “Why are you helping us—what’s in it for you?”
“Repentance.”


As always, apologies for the creative punctuation, which was done to keep within the sentence limit.

Who knew rescuing two girls from traffickers would bring down a world of hurt?

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from returning. Mining heir Dillan Rusteran has loved her for years. Little do they know that by rescuing more children they're tangling with a galactic trafficking ring.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ B&N ~ iTunes


Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week, even though I'd forgotten to sign up. 



Thursday, June 1, 2017

Meet Author April Michelle Davis

Please welcome author April Michelle Davis.


April, please tell us about yourself.
One day, while in middle school, my heartstrings turned away from numbers and captured the essence of grammar. As my newfound passion developed, my already cultivated fascination with princesses intensified, and I soon found myself writing A Princess in Disguise. Since then, true to the theme, I became a queen, married a king, and bore two princes. Even with the passage of time, this book has remained my first literary love, and now I am ready to share it with the world.

I earned a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College. I also hold the following certificates: editing (University of Virginia), book publishing (University of Virginia), and professional editing (EEI Communications).

As an editor myself, I enjoy attending and participating in writers’ conferences and workshops and helping writers with their literary pursuits. I take this honor seriously and that is why I pay it forward by sharing my knowledge with others. I often speak at association meetings, writers’ groups, conferences, and colleges about writing and editing.

I has won writing contests, and books that I have edited have won awards as well. Please see www.editorialinspirations.com/about/credentials/ for my achievements. I live in Richmond, Virginia, and I’m originally from Northern Virginia.

Where can readers find you?
You can reach me through my editorial company, Editorial Inspirations (www.editorialinspirations.com).

Or connect with me through other outlets:
•           LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilmichelledavis/
•           Twitter: https://twitter.com/EInspirations
•           Website: www.aprilmichelledavis.com and www.aprincessindisguise.com

How long does it take you to write A Princess in Disguise?
I began thinking about this storyline before there was even a story to write. I grew up with both my parents. After school, I enjoyed watching the Disney cartoons. As I watched Aladdin, I soon realized that the mother of Jasmine was not included in the movie nor in the cartoons, and I began to wonder why or where she was. This realization had me search storylines for the whereabouts of mothers. The mere mention of a character’s mother got my attention. Yet, I eventually set aside these ideas.

When I was in high school, I thought that my ideas could be turned into an interesting story so I began expanding on them. I wrote from my heart until I could write no more, yet the book was not finished. I let my peers read my manuscript hoping that their aspirations for me would drive me forward, yet I set my manuscript aside.

As a grown woman, I joined a book club where I meant another writer, a writer who inspired me to finish my book by the energy that she expressed through writing and the bond of our same love of writing. I finally finished my book and then the editing began. We edited the book and even had agents request and review the manuscript. Again, I set it aside.

Then in 2012, my writing partner was murdered, and I could not bear to look at my princess manuscript. In 2014, I met a man who could help me publish my manuscript and who pushed me to do it in honor of my writing partner, and I began editing the book again. Iguana Press initiated a crowdfund to see if there was interest in the story and gain initial funds for the book’s production. Midway through the crowdfunding, the campaign suddenly came to a halt as the sale of the crowdfund site fell through and all campaigns were suddenly ended. Though the remaining days of my campaign was held at another site, the momentum that had been building had ceased.

Upon completion of the campaign, the formal editing process began—with myself in the writer’s seat. With my mother as my assistant in helping to review the manuscript, we pushed the book publishing company’s editors to their limits because I would not settle for less.

My book A Princess in Disguise is about a princess on a quest. On the night of her sixteenth birthday and before her father has the chance to force her to marry a complete stranger, Princess Margaret sneaks away from the riches and safety of the palace. Torn between her fate and freedom, Princess Margaret desperately goes looking for her mother as the answer. In a quest of soul searching and physical hardships, the twist of events may take the readers by surprise, instilling a piece of the story in their hearts.

Today, I acknowledge SaraJane in my book as the lady who inspired me, my dear book club friend. A Princess in Disguise is available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and through other book outlets. Or a signed copy can be ordered directly from me at aprilmichelledavis.com.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I am not writing, I am editing. I am a freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader, and I have owned my own editorial business since 2001. I work with authors and publishers on a variety of genres.

When I am not working, I am homeschooling my sons. We enjoy reading books and playing outdoors.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have taken my role full circle by publishing two technical books (in addition to my recent middle-grade/young-adult book): A Guide for the Freelance Indexer and Choosing an Editor: What You Need to Know. My favorite is definitely A Princess in Disguise because I was able to be creative while writing about something I love: princesses and castles.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Find something that you enjoy doing—something that you love doing—and then find a way to make money doing it. That will help you to not get tired of working, but to love much of what you do in life.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
My husband is my IT person so he understands my business and he strives to make my business processes efficient and reliable. He is also very respectful and supportive of my time by sharing in childrearing and household responsibilities. My mom is my assistant. As my assistant, she writes and edits articles for my newsletter, finds avenues to market my books, orchestrates book signings, and is my go to person. I have an intern who helps me compile the newsletter each month. These key people in my work and personal life allow me to work and play hard. Without them, balancing my work and personal life would be much more difficult and look very different.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
A Princess in Disguise is a fairy tale about a princess, but it is not written in the typical style with a helpless princess who needs a prince charming to live happily ever after. This book teaches our young adults that being true to yourself does not mean to be selfish and without consideration of others but instead to consider the whole situation and then make the best choice based on that information. The princess in this book has a burning desire and determination to take her dreams and turn them into something that is self-fulling yet beneficial for the people who live in her kingdom. This is a book that can be also read and enjoyed by parents and their children.

Tell us about your latest release. 

A Princess in Disguise by April Michelle Davis


On the night of her sixteenth birthday and before her father has the chance to force her to marry a complete stranger, Princess Margaret sneaks away from the riches and safety of the palace. Torn between her fate and freedom, Princess Margaret desperately goes looking for her mother as the answer. In a quest of soul searching and physical hardships, the twist of events may take the readers by surprise, instilling a piece of the story in their hearts.  

Excerpt

“Margaret.” It was Eleanor. “Margaret. Let me in. I need to speak with you.”
When I opened the door, she walked to my bed and sat, directly facing me and my
dresser. “Margaret, do you miss Mother?”
Eleanor sat on the edge of my bed with her feet dangling over the side. She
twirled a ringlet of her hair with her left hand as she always did when she was in
deep thought—well, deep thought for her.
I was leaning against the dresser trying to cover the fact that it was
sticking further out on one side, but I was still shocked by Eleanor’s question.
We never spoke of Mother. “Yes, I miss her, but I do not know what I miss because I
never knew her. I think I miss what I would have known, and I miss not knowing her
love.”
“I wish she were here. Why did she leave, Margaret? Did we do something
wrong to make her mad at us?”
I was having trouble responding to Eleanor’s queries but not because of the
position I was standing in. I had always thought she hated Mother for abandoning us,
but here she was with mixed emotions.
“I do not believe we did anything wrong, for we were too young when she left.
We were babies; we could not even walk.” I tried to sound confident, though I
sometimes wondered the same.
“I used to think that, but now I am not sure.”
“We did nothing wrong, and deep down you know that. Besides, we do not
need her anymore. Soon each of us shall be off on our own adventures.”
“Thank you, Margaret. I feel better. I guess I was just having doubts
because tonight is such a big night. I know you are against these marriages, and
I would prefer to marry for love, but as princesses, this is our duty. We have a
responsibility, Margaret. We have such easy lives. We do not have to work, and
we have so much more than our subjects. Our purpose is to become wives, bear
sons, and make peace with other kingdoms. We are needed to prevent wars and to
bring new wealth to our kingdom, but our main goal as princesses is to get married and have male heirs.”
“Eleanor, it is just that I have dreamed since I was a little girl that I would be swept off my feet by a handsome man I loved, not forced into a marriage with a stranger I may never love nor dream about.”
Eleanor had stood and moved closer to the door, but then she turned to me. She could easily see the displacement of my dresser if she noticed. “Oh, you left your birthday gift from Father on the table at lunch. I did not open it. Would you like me to stay while you open it?” She handed me the small box.
“No, I do not need you to stay while I open the box. Thank you for bringing it to me. I guess I forgot it when I stormed out.”
“Yes, but this marriage is our duty. By doing what is right, we will be happy.” She paused as if she were about to say more, but then changed her mind. “I shall let you be so you can prepare for the ball.” Eleanor walked over to me, gave me a hug, and left. She did not seem to notice how crooked my dresser was, or that I remained in front of it during our entire conversation.
I centered my dresser on the wall and pulled out the bags from under the bed. Why was it my duty to give up love? Should I not have the same rights my people have? I was not a servant to be traded like an animal at the marketplace. I was ready to leave. I opened my door and peeked down the hallway. No servants or sisters were in sight. I entered the hall and ran toward the steps.

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