Maggie Hoyt's latest update for The Fairy Stepmother Inc.

Jun 6, 2017

Hi everyone,

So it’s been a while since I sent an update. I’m hard at work finishing the book’s final third, and I’m almost done! Then, I’ll switch to editing mode so that I can send Inkshares a beautiful final manuscript. Thanks for your patience! I know this is a long process, and you may have hoped to have a book sooner. I promise I’m doing my best to make sure you get a really great book.

While I’ve got you here, I just want to remind you to make sure your shipping address is updated. If you bought an E-book, of course, no worries! But if you purchased a physical copy of the book, just make sure Inkshares has the correct address so we make sure your book gets to you. On a sad note, if you do need to cancel your order (although I hope you don’t!) you can email Inkshares’ customer service at hello@inkshares.com. I don’t know how they do things, but Elena is the best and will get you sorted.

As a present-because I’m so very thankful for your support-here’s an excerpt from the rough draft of Part 2! Don’t worry, I’ve redacted the spoilers.

“Mom?”

Fanchon found me in the study the next morning, reading one of my father’s manuals. He was a proud chemist, not an alchemist, and as such, he thought it was ridiculous and pointless to attempt to turn any sort of metal into gold. It was not pointless, however, to occasionally put a shiny gold-like coating on something. Looking back, I suspect my father walked a fine ethical line.

I closed the book as Fan entered. Brass was probably the cheapest solution, but also the easiest to spot as a fraud.

“How are you, dear?”

“Um, I’m fine. I was wondering how I would go about finding a dance instructor. It’s just that I don’t think I want everyone to know I’m taking lessons.”

“Oh! That’s right. Well, that’s not a problem. I can teach you.”

Fan started, open-mouthed and wide-eyed, like a giant gust of wind had almost knocked her off her feet. “You can dance?”

“You’re looking at a proud graduate of Ms. Arbuthnot’s School for Charming Girls. Besides, your father and I used to go dancing quite often. I don’t actually mind dancing.”

“But aren’t we going to need someone to do the man’s part?”

“You’re looking at a very tall graduate of an all-girls school,” I said. “Now, I think if we move some furniture in the living room we’ll have the space for this.”

Fan followed me into the living room, and we pulled the armchairs to the edges of the room and carried the coffee table to the hallway.

“I think that’ll do.” Besides, since I would be leading, at least she couldn’t ram my shins into the corner of the table. “One issue I noticed about your dancing is that you’re very stiff. We want everything to be more fluid. So when we put our arm out, for example—see how mine has sort of a bend in it?” Fan nodded and tried to mimic my arm. “Right, I’m not exactly sure how your elbow can go that way…” I tried to reposition her arm. “I think bend was maybe not the best word. We definitely don’t want to see a pointy elbow corner, we want it to look like our arm is curved. That’s better.”

“That hurts! That’s not natural!”

“You have to get used to it. You probably have to build up the muscles. Now let’s start with a minuet, and let’s try to remember we want to be light and airy, like we’re floating around the room.” I sounded exactly like my dance instructor. “We’ll start here at this end. Other side of me. Hold my hand. Other arm out gracefully. Ready? Right—Sink. Left—Right—No, don’t sink yet—Left, now sink. Now right…”

“I’m on my left.”

“What? We must not have sunk correctly.”

“I did sink!”

“Right, but I think it wasn’t on the correct foot. Or possibly beat.”

“I never understand the minuet count.”

“You do a whole minuet step in two three-counts. It goes, ‘One, sink, three; one, two, sink.’”

“Yeah, I never do that right.”

“Well, let’s try this. Let’s get the pattern down first, no sinks.” We reset at the end of the room. “So let’s go, Right foot—feet together. Then left, right, left, together. Repeat. Right, together. Left, right, left, together.”

Fan and I minuet-walked the length of the room several times. “Was Dad a good dancer?” she asked.

“He was excellent.”

“Did you like dancing with him?”

“I did,” I said. Right up until I realized he used every partner switch to seduce new lovers. I didn’t tell Fan that. “All right, we’re not going to add in the sinks yet, but let’s try to get the tiptoes correct. So the first step is a flat foot. Then when we come together, let’s just tap our foot, like this. Then left tiptoe, right tiptoe, left flat foot, tap. The flat foot isn’t so much a stomp. You can toe-heel.”

We were so intent on tiptoeing across the room, we both missed the knock on the door—until it had turned into a rather angry pounding.

...To Be Continued!

Thank you all so much for your support. I’m so excited to get you this book. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.

Best,

Maggie Hoyt