During a day-trip with my family I ran across a quaint little shop in the North Georgia Mountains where the shop owner offered Fairy Doors for sale – tiny doors, eight to ten inches high. Along with the Fairy Doors came every imaginable fairy charm offering for your garden, yard, and home – miniature benches, chairs, garden tools, houses, you name it, they were there.
The idea the shop owner pedaled was, if you place Fairy Doors out on your property fairies will come through the magic portals to visit. If the fairies find pleasure in your offerings, they’ll hang out and protect your property. How cool is that?
Initially, I found myself entranced. Then the Muse in me reared his head and snapped: “Hey! What if you invite those guys in and they have mischief planned?”
*Heavy sigh* This is often how the writer’s mind works – think worst-case scenario.
I left the fairy charms at the store and refuted the idea of possible mischief.
Magically, sometime the next week a story idea popped: What if a girl, as a last resort to dealing with overwhelming negative odds, put out a Fairy Door, and a Fairy Charms, and her One True Love found his way back to her because she had the faith to ask the Universe for him, and his help?
Set in Savannah, Georgia, my fantasy romance short story,
Yep, I grew that scrumptious bowl of goodness with my own two hands!!
My fingers are not permanently attached to my keyboard, though sometimes it seems that way.
I started gardening at an early age, and it’s a hobby I cannot live without.
What was that line from Steel Magnolias? Southern women are genetically programmed to dig in the dirt and raise tomatoes – ah, that’s a paraphrase, yes, but the sentiment is true, for me at least. (Yes, I am growing tomatoes this very second in my cold frame in the mountains of North Georgia – so sue me.)
Gardening is beneficial in so many ways. While most of the country is still under a blanket of grey, ugly snow-melt my raised beds, which I protect with a cold-frame, provide harvests like this most weeks starting in early March – April.
Gardening provides vital exercise, a great base tan, and these wonderful yummy organic yields to prepare for our table. Gardening is in my soul and I’ll happily keep it that way.
I’m off now to sautee these perky babies up in olive oil and garlic for supper.
So, what about you dear readers and writers? Which hobbies keep you busy between reading, writing, editing and first drafts?
In Honor of the impending epic celebration of Irish Love in my hometown of Savannah, Georgia, and the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the nation, I’m re-blogging the Three Wishespost from 2Bibliophiles Guide from May 2013.
Lets start easy. What is your favorite Genre of books to read?
Paranormal romance – I like a little magic with my love story. I also like romantic suspense because thrillers don’t have enough romance for me, but I like a little bit of action in my romances.
Do you have any favorite authors? If yes, Will you tell us who?
I love what Deborah Harkness did in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. Older James Patterson thrillers, especially the Alex Cross series. When I was younger I loved to devour Jude Devereaux’s romances, especially the time travel fantasy romances. Jon Konrath makes me laugh, and that’s a good thing. I’ve discovered a host of excellent writers at Boroughs Publishing Group.
What/who inspired to write your first book?
Wanting to find the perfect combination of Thriller/Romance & Fantasy.
How long have you been writing?
I have stories that I was writing with a critique group when I was thirteen years old. I won’t tell you my age, but suffice it to say that was a long time ago. I’ve kept journals my whole life, and about three years ago that migrated into writing for publication.
What was the first book you remember reading? (other than children’s books)?
BEACH MUSIC by Pat Conroy
I noticed a theme with the titles of your books. Wishes. All the two series have totally different elements though. Are you a believer it the fae and all things magical?
I believe wishes are prayers that deserve our attention and nurturing. In fiction, at least, I do believe in all things magical. THREE WISHES is a fairytale set in modern-day Savannah, Georgia, and it’s as close as I’ll ever get to creating magic.
What inspired 3 wishes?
I learned about fairy doors on a recent day trip with my family. Apparently if you put out fairy doors, and fairy charms, legend has it fairies will come visit your property, If they’re pleased with your offerings they’ll hang out and protect you. My Muse worried that something evil might try to come through those doors, and a plot hatched to find a Hero instead. Michael McKnight, my Leprechaun in Love became that hero, and the story was born.
I love Michael the Tall, is he based on anyone in particular?
I’m so glad to hear you loved Michael. He surprised me, and I fell instantly in love. My DH is my personal hero, and I suppose most of my leading men find their honor and valiance through his example.
Can you tell us what you’re working on next?
Absolutely, and thanks for asking! DRAGONSTONE is due to be released in May by Boroughs Publishing Group. It’s a Lunchbox Romance about an Elf Prince who travels through time to rescue a stolen baby dragon. Along the way, he finds his princess, and this high heat fantasy romance features magic and love in perfect sync. While DRAGONSTONE is a short story, its novel follow-up is my current work in progress.
Have you ever based a character on yourself or someone you know?
Absolutely. All my characters are compilations of everyone I know from real life and fiction. Everyone had better behave or I’ll put you in my next book for the villain to deal with.
When writing do you dictate the story or do the characters tell you what to do?
This is a great question. I firmly believe that my characters take on a life of their own, and I’m just there to take down notes. Surely each one of them comes from inside of me and their actions and responses are my way of dealing with situations, but I don’t know…several characters I’ve written definitely led the charge. Michael McKnight is the perfect example – a Leprechaun in Love on a mission. I worried about those fairy doors, but then he showed up for work the next day, demanding his story be told.
Do you outline?
I’m a reformed Pantser. I struggle with outlines, and I’m getting better at tolerating the damn things because I feel like at some point an outline robs the story of its gusto. However, learning to use an outline as a fluid roadmap for storytelling certainly saves a lot of time in revision.
Did Michael keep his powers or is he human now?
King Dionis allowed Michael to keep his powers. Once Abby broke his spell, Michael resumed his true nature, that of an ancient Leprechaun in all his former glory – think huge, hot, warrior well-endowed with magic and gold. Oh, and his skills at making fairy shoes. Of course, that takes magic.
I have never heard of fairy charms. I know of fairy doors, and own a couple. Can you tell us more about fairy charms, please.
How cool is that that you have fairy doors! I love them.
Fairy charms are any miniature decoration you might leave just outside your fairy door for your fairy’s pleasure. For instance, all the best dressed houses don’t just have fairy doors, they have garden benches, tables, chairs, garden tools,umbrellas, glasses to drink from; any type of whimsy you love, your fairy’s should love too. Take care with your offerings though – if your fairies are not pleased, they will set to causing mischief in your house and your gardens.
Do you have fairy charms?
I DO have fairy charms! The very day Boroughs Publishing Group awarded me the contract to publish Three Wishes, I bought the most exquisite fairy ball. It’s huge, made of blue-green colored glass, and its solar powered so it glows at night. I placed it out in my humble Spring garden. It glows at night, and I know my fairy’s love it. I often think I see them dancing around it at night.
Will there be any more books related to Three Wishes?
What an excellent question! I’m currently off in another fantasy land dealing with some dragons, and their elves. First I have to help them solve their issues, but we’ll see what time and inspiration spins out of my imagination. Somewhere in the back of my mind lies the question of just exactly how the Fairy Queen Melise knew Abby’s father Angus. I think there just may be a story there…
This is a short story about true love and a leprechaun. Its not what you think, Abigail O’Malley catches herself a Leprechaun Michael McKnight the Tall, and her three wishes include his gold, fairy magic, and the mystery of her One True Love. Abbey is about to lose her family home and the bar that her family owns. Michael is a hero and Abby cant understand her good fortune. This is a sweet tale of childhood love lost and found, fairy romance and misdeeds. A wonderful short story. I found the sex scene wonderfully funny, as one would expect of a virgin who has never been exposed to sex. A romantic, funny love story, well worth the read.
Three Wishes is a really good short story. Paula does a wonderful job of mixing in a plot, with romance and fun, and kept things interesting. I loved Michael and how quickly Abbey was able to overlook his size to see a person. I loved that Abbey had such simple (yet hard to do) wishes. You have to respect a lady who is true to herself!
I loved the storyline, and would love to see a prequel or sequel. I would love to know why her father had hid the fairy charms away, and how he was so close to the King and Queen in the first place.
It was pretty cool that you could see Abbey slowly seeing her childhood friend in the leprechaun before her. Showed how genuine a person she was. I wish we had a little more detail about Michael and Abbey as kids, and what he did to become cursed.
Over all great story though, and I highly recommend it.
The afternoon had gotten away from her and twilight loomed, so Abby took the charms and strode across the yard to the old oak. Her imagination ran wild with thoughts of fairies dancing in the wooded area, fireflies though they might have been. She longed to see them again, longed for a time when she had the unfettered mind of child, when her world revolved around her parents, when she was safe and loved, and happy.
She approached the old live oak and placed the miniature fairy door at the base of the tree, just so. Next she settled one of the delicate little chairs beside it. Now the bench, and the remaining two chairs belong on the other side, on the old rock. She walked around the tree, set up the fancy little charms in an inviting arrangement, squeezed her eyes shut and asked a mighty question of the universe and whatever power imagination truly held within the world. She asked for hope, peace, and some way to solve this mess with her father’s bar.
“Please, little fairies, I need all the luck you can lend me today. I’m inviting you back to play. Please come back home and show me what to do.”
A mighty wind kicked up and swirled through the branches of the grand old oak, fluttering her hair with its force. Abby opened her eyes then frowned, surprised. Clearly, the stress of it all had finally taken its toll. The fairy charms vibrated and glowed with brilliant color, and a leprechaun dressed in a Kelly green suit, with a top hat and pointed shoes, stood waiting on the other side of the tree. A radiant smile lit his face.
Abby gasped, stepped back, and scurried around the oak toward the safety of the house. Then she shrieked. Her world closed in around her. Her heart hitched and her brain screamed foul. Her knees chose that moment to give way, and she collapsed into a heap at the base of the tree.
Author Info: Paula Millhouse grew up in Savannah, Georgia where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway. As a child Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal chapter, the Mystery/Suspense chapter (Kiss of Death), and a member of Savvy Authors.
In the southern tradition of storytellers, she loves sharing the lives of her characters with readers, and following her muse on the quest for happily-ever-afters in thrilling romantic fiction.
She lives with her husband at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their pack and pride of furry babies.