Deadline Troll by Amy Lillard

I’m a nice person. Really I am. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I go out of my way for others. I like helping people. I like being helpful. I love taking care of my family. Sure, I probably do more for them than I should. (I’m not certain if my husband can even turn on the washing machine, but I taught my son so if I keel over tomorrow at least one of them will have clean clothes for the funeral.) But helping them, cooking for them, taking care of them is all a part of how I express my love for them and the people around me.

But there comes a time when helping others becomes difficult for me, when I start to act and react like a totally different person. Now this only happens two or three times a year. Okay, okay, I’m lowballing. It happens more than that. But it varies, honestly. It only happens when I have a book due to my publisher. About two weeks before the actual contracted date…it comes.

What happens you ask? I turn into the Deadline Troll. It’s not pretty, a little like when Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk. The upside for me is I don’t turn green, but everything else is pretty much the same. Quick to anger, growly breathing, unkempt appearance. But worst of all, my house becomes every man for himself.

See, I write best under pressure. I’ve tried to change this about myself, and I’m working on it. A lot like Bruce taking anger management classes and refusing to react, but in the end he succumbs. As do I.

The Deadline Troll forgets to bathe, eats food from the freezer section, and growls at everyone but the cats. But worst of all, she doesn’t take care of her family. Laundry piles to the ceiling. Cat hair builds in the corners. The kitchen floor turns into something akin to fly paper. And the bathroom becomes…well, we won’t go there.

Now, I’m not proud of this, but I felt it time to come clean (so to speak) about this matter. See, I’m forever being asked when the next insert series title here book is coming out and it’s hard for me to explain. I have to leave enough time between books for my family and home to recover.

I love writing. It’s breathing for me. I don’t know what to do if I’m not writing. But when the deadline comes, my family pays. So the next time you’re wondering why it’s taking me so long to get out the follow-up book in your favorite series, remember my family and the sacrifice they make. And know that I’m doing everything I can to bring you the book without turning into her.

For the Amish of Pontotoc, Mississippi, faith and family are everything—even when they pose the greatest challenge . . .

Gracie Glick is known for being the helpful one, always available for a relative in need. But now that she’s longing for a home and family of her own, it’s time to help herself. With few eligible men in Pontotoc, Gracie’s choices, and her time, are limited. So she takes a bold leap of faith: she proposes to Matthew Byler, a handsome, recently widowed, father of five. It’s not until after they’re married that Gracie learns Matthew doesn’t want more children . . .

With his grief still fresh, and his children needing care while he tends to his farm, Gracie is the answer to Matthew’s prayers. But a marriage in name only suits him fine. And when he finally tells Gracie the dismaying reason why, they must decide whether to continue together—or apart. It’s a choice that will force them both to look deeper into their hearts than ever before . . .