Mickey, Magic, and Malice—a fairy tale vacation
by LynDee Walker
I am a total Disney nerd.
Yep. There, I said it (typed it, anyway).
It goes back as far as I can remember: the movies were a big part of my childhood. My mom loved them almost as much as I did. But as a single mom with a career and a lot of responsibility, vacations were scarce. I didn’t visit Disney World for the first time until I was married.
My sweet hubby took me for our first anniversary, and I had more fun than any ten children. We’ve been back every 12-24 months since, and it’s still my favorite place in the whole world.
We’ve marked a milestone there with each of our three little ones: they all get a Disney trip for their third birthday. This year, it was my baby girl’s turn to “go to Mickey’s house.”
It turned out to be a dream vacation in just about every way I can imagine—and a few I wouldn’t have dared to.
We got off to an iffy start with a nine-hour flight delay that ate up our first day in the park. But my children—even the three-year-old—were such good babies that day. No less than a dozen other women made a point to tell me so at some point before we finally made it out of Orlando International Airport. Any mom who’s ever had a rough day knows how proud I was of them.
The next morning kicked off clear and perfect, with sunshine and breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. We rode roller coasters (my little daredevils love anything the height restrictions allow them on) and played and walked off all the amazing food. They hugged their favorite characters. We took photos and made wonderful memories.
And then on Tuesday, a little extra touch made this the Disney trip to top all Disney trips (for me, anyway). A phone call came, in the most perfect time and place, and added the perfect sprinkle of magic.
Let’s back up a bit: y’all, I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. For most of my life, that dream was pretty Lois-Lane-shaped. I loved being a journalist. I was conscious of the fact that people trusted me with their stories, and I worked hard to tell them right.
But when I became a mom, everything changed. Reporting means long, unpredictable hours. Not super-conducive to family life. I’ve never regretted my decision to leave the newsroom, but boy, I missed writing. Then Nichelle and her friends took up residence in my head, and I discovered I could have it both ways. I am a girl blessed.
I can say without reservation that the past year has topped every dream I had about being an author. I am so thankful for each reader who has had fun with Nichelle, and those of you who’ve taken time to let me know that have made my days brighter.
Back to Disney: I never expected this call. Didn’t even dare to dream of such a thing, because so many writers who are far wiser than me, who have been generous enough to give me advice, said it’s easier when you don’t.
I asked her about 10 times if she was sure she was reading her list correctly. I thanked her. I hung up. And then I burst into tears. After I managed to tell my family that nobody died, we celebrated. With cupcakes (the grey stuff one really is delicious).
Seriously, y’all—on vacation at my favorite place in the world, surrounded by the people I love most. Standing in the dining room in Belle’s castle—because where is more perfect to receive such news than in the palace of Disney’s bookworm princess? I couldn’t have written it better.
My own personal fairy tale.
I think that’s why I’m such a Disney geek: I am a sucker for a happily ever after.
As a journalist, I saw some of the most horrifying things human beings can do to one another and watched people survive the worst days of their lives. As a mom of three, I have the daily honor of guiding these wonderful little people through the big scary world. I want for them what every mom wants for her little ones: happiness.
I know that’s what my mom wanted most for me, too, and let me assure you: I was pretty darned happy that January Tuesday, riding a roller coaster with my oldest (she’s nine going on 29) and watching her grin when she turned to me and said “that award thing is seriously cool, mommy. I’m so proud of you.”
Thank you all so much for being part of this fabulous year. I’m so, so excited about the launch of the third Headlines in High Heels novel, Small Town Spin, and I hope you have fun following Nichelle to the beach.
Now y’all tell me: what’s your most magical vacation memory?
LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation. After nearly a decade covering crime, courts, and local politics, she left full-time reporting for motherhood with a side of freelancing and fiction writing. Small Town Spin is the third in her bestselling Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. The fourth arrives January 2015.
LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children or working on her next novel (but probably not cleaning her house).
Small Town Spin
(A Headlines in High Heels Mystery)
Published by Henery Press (April 8, 2014)
Paperback: 280 pages
E-Book File Size: 584 KB
When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.
Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.
LynDee Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Nichelle Clarke one of my favorite protagonists. I started this story and just couldn’t put it down.
Even when she is sick Nichelle keeps going. Those darn allergies have to take a back seat when her co-worker asks her to check out a story. His friend’s son is dead and the cops say it’s suicide. The boy’s parents just don’t believe it and want Nichelle to investigate and find out what really happened. Let me say Nichelle works better sick than most of us work healthy. She puts on Manolos, channels her inner Lois Lane, and starts digging and following clues. She is bound and determined to get her exclusive story and leave TV reporter Charlie in the dust. She also wants to give the boy’s parents some kind of closure.
Walker has written quite a mystery with some corkscrew turns and twists and fabulous characters. She also adds the perfect amount of romance and humor. I really love “bad guy” Joey. He has it Nicey bad and he is always there just when he needs her most. But Kyle is still fighting to have her give their relationship another chance. Stay tuned I think things will heat up even more in the next installment.
LynDee is giving away a Super Prize!!!
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April 8 – Mystery Playground – Interview
April 9 – readalot blog – Review
April 9 – Escape With Dollycas – Cozy Wednesday
April 10 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
April 12 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
April 14 – Community Bookstop – Review
April 15 – Beth’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
April 16 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
April 17 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
April 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
April 19 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – Interview
April 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post
April 22 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”