Find An Author Friday: April Holthaus
April lives in central Minnesota with her husband and son. She developed her passion of historical romances through her love of history and genealogy. Over the last several years she has compiled her family tree finding over 350 bloodline grandparents dating back to the 900s.
When not working or writing, April enjoys spending time with her family, reading and being outdoors.
Hi April, what was the one event or who was the person that inspired you to write and publish a book?
The person who inspired me the most was Author Suzan Tisdale. When I first started writing my first book, I never had any intentions on publishing it. After befriending Suzan and joining her street team, I learned more about the writing world and how to publish from her. Without her advice and direction, my 1st book would never have been published.
You have been very successful in promoting yourself via social media. Is there any advice you can give authors who struggle with this?
Be patient. It takes a lot of time to reach readers and there are many of them out there. How I got started was by joining readers and author groups on Facebook to get my name out there. Another thing I have done is offer my book to other authors as free giveaways to their readers at no cost to them. That helps them have more giveaways and exposes me to new potential readers. Another way to promote yourself is by asking blog sites to see if they will review your book.
Please tell us about your most recent work and where we can get it.
My most recent project is The Protectors of the Crown series. I just published the first book of the series called Heart of the Highlands: The Beast. I am working hard on book two Heart of the Highlands: The Wolf to be published later this year as well as a Highland Holiday novella.
You’ve researched your family back to the 800s, is that correct? How did your research impact your desire to write historical fiction?
My research brought me closer to the 900s. It has influenced me greatly because it helped me develop a greater appreciation for history. I think about what their lives must have been like. I am very proud and deeply grateful they lived the lives they had. If they didn’t, I may not be here.
What made you decide to write about the Scottish Highlands rather than the area of your ancestry?
My area of ancestry is predominantly England and France, but I write about the Highlands because they is a certain romantic, attractiveness to it. The history is rich and the stories of the warriors are beyond honorable. Highlanders, to me, seem to make the perfect hero.
If you could take one trip overseas, would you choose do go to a land of your ancestry or to Scotland, and why?
I would go to Ireland. My great-grandparents came from Ireland and I have always had an obsession with wanting to go. Not just because of my heritage, but because of the castles, the history and the beautiful picturesque landscape.
Give us an excerpt from one of your books.
ESCAPE TO THE HIGHLANDS:
“Our castle was just attacked and the prisoners are gone. Someone will pay for this,” Wayland said in an unsympathetic tone.
“We will gather men to go after the ones responsible,” the guard said.
“Responsible? We know bloody well it was the Scots,” Lord Wessex sneered.
“There were only a few of them, how exactly did they get past you and into the dungeons?” Wayland asked the group of soldiers. The line of soldiers looked around at each other but remained silent.
“You will answer or you too will see yourself in the bowels of the dungeon,” Richard hollered.
“It’s just, we are not certain what we saw, my lord,” the same brave solider said. “And what is it that you think you saw?” Wayland asked. The solider cowardly lowered his head and whispered, “Lady Jacqueline, my lord.”
“Blasphemy. What is the meaning of this?” roared Lord Wessex.
“It’s true, my lord. We saw Lady Jacqueline open the door to the dungeon and that is when moments later, we saw the prisoners escaping to the woods,” the man replied.
Facing Richard, Lord Wessex fumingly asked, “You dare have me wed a traitor?”
“No, my lord. Certainly these men must be mistaken. If you wish, we will confront her at once,” Richard said as they headed towards the staircase.
Jacqueline shook from the loud thundering sound the door made when someone repeatedly pounded on it. Opening the door, she saw Maggie standing in the doorframe. Deathly pale the poor woman looked distraught. Maggie brushed past Jacqueline, grabbed onto Jacqueline’s slippers and forcefully shoved them into Jacqueline’s hands. Reaching for the handful of silver that Jacqueline kept inside a black velvet trinket box, Maggie shoved the coins into a small leather pouch and tied it to the rope of Jacqueline’s cloak. Puzzled by Maggie’s unusual behavior she asked, “What is it, Maggie?”
“May God have mercy on this night, my lady. Lady Jacqueline, I overheard one of the guards talking to your brother and Lord Richard. Your brother and cousin are on their way up here. They know that you were the one that helped them escape. They believe you to be a traitor and helped the Scots through the gate. You must go. Now. Quickly.”
“But, Maggie I have nowhere to go.”
“My lady, if you stay.” Maggie stopped in mid-sentence and began to weep in her hands.
Jacqueline knew what she was going to say. That she would be charged with treason and put to death. “How can I leave without being noticed?”
“You will need to take the secret passageways within the walls. If you stay to the right, it should take you to the cave next to the river. Do you remember the way?” Jacqueline only nodded. Maggie moved the tapestry to reveal one of the several entrances hidden throughout the castle. As a young girl, Jacqueline often played within the passageways only to get lost several times. Jacqueline hugged Maggie and without saying a word, she slipped inside the small doorway. “Bless you, Maggie.” “May God watch over you, child.”
Where can readers find you?
Blog Page: myromanticenchantments.blogspot.com/
Where can readers find your books?