Mrs. Franchy's Evil Ring and the Six Months that Changed Everything
At just nine years old, Isla Delgado had already endured more than her fair share of trauma with her first stepmom when she was only five. But when her mom tells her she must go live with her dad and his new wife for six months her anxiety worsens.
Determined to protect herself, Isla sets out to expose her stepmom as the evil witch she's sure she is. But as she gets to know her, Isla begins to realize that things aren't always as they seem.
Join Isla on her journey of self-discovery and learn how even the most traumatic experiences can be overcome with the power of love and understanding.
“Mrs. Franchy’s Evil Ring and the Six Months that Changed Everything” is a heartwarming tale about family, trust, and the power of compassion that will leave readers of all ages feeling uplifted and inspired.
Is Isla You?
Someone recently asked me: Is Isla you? I replied with yes and no.
You see, Isla is a little bit me, it's a little bit like my big sister, a little bit my stepdaughter, and a whole lot the nine-year-old I wanted to be. In Mrs. Franchy's Evil Ring and the Six Months that Changed Everything, Isla wins over her trauma. Granted, this win comes through many funny and sad misconceptions, but she gets her win. That is very different from my personal story. As a nine-year-old, I couldn't get the words out of my mouth, and even though there were so many things I wanted to say to the grown-ups around me, feelings of guilt kept everything I wanted to say in. It wasn't until I became an adult and looked back at many of these moments that I realized I needed to say something. But then I was a child, I told myself how much power I had at that time?
In my life, I have had two examples of little girls who understand and use their personal power to voice their opinion. My big sister, Laura, was my first example of this. I remember the grown up around me had strong views about my sister because she was so voiceful. Some would say that my grandma didn't discipline her enough, and others thought she was a 'bad' child. I looked up to her because she said what I wanted to say, took the punishment, and continued to voice her opinion. Later on, in life, I had another example.
My stepdaughter is as stubborn as her dad, and she reminds me a lot of my sister. There's very little my S-child holds on to. Wrong or right, she says what she wants to say. I admire that trait in her. So, Isla Delgado is a little bit of me, my sister, and my S-Child. Most importantly, Isla is the example of a child who courageously uses their voice to demand respect from the grown-ups around her. That is what I want the kids who read Mrs. Franchy's Evil Ring and the Six Months that Changed Everything to take away from this story.
Get To Know Evelissé
When the Past and Present Collides, Mrs. Franchy Emerges
A few years ago, like seven years, I saw a post on Instagram that detailed how to find one's purpose. At this time, I was blogging and reviewing books. I've always been passionate about reading and diving into a book. Almost immediately after I developed that passion, the passion for writing followed.
My major after graduating from high school was journalism. Still, I changed it to appease my mother, who didn't see value in that degree. So I was a journalism student for one month before I switched to nursing because, according to my mom, I was good at taking care of people and should do that for the rest of my life.
Gosh, that sounds so cringe now.
Nevertheless, I was, and I'm a recovering people pleaser. When I was young, I needed my elder's approval, even to the detriment of my happiness. But that semester, as a journalism student, I discovered I was good at writing.
According to my writing professor at the time, I had a talent for making people feel things with words. She sought me out after reading a passage I wrote where I had to describe my fantasy location. I remember vividly closing my eyes, seeing it, and feeling it, and then turning to the paper in front of me as if in a trance, transcribing everything I felt and saw in my head.
I still write like that. I close my eyes to envision a scene or a character and feel the emotions before I open them again and type. I know the scene will be vivid when I feel half awake and half asleep while writing. But having a talent for writing has not been what kept me writing.
When I was a voracious young reader, I had to jump through some mental gymnastics to see myself in the story and the characters I was reading. While I enjoyed the stories because they were entertaining, they didn't leave a lasting impression on me because they all seemed to be about a person that was not me and shared zero or very few similarities with me. So on that blessed day when I read this Instagram post, I thought about this and found my purpose.
The post explained that one has to ask why one likes doing something, repeating the question 'why' until the answer makes them exuberant, weepy, or bring forth any other emotional reaction. When I thought of myself back then, holding on to a book for dear life as if it was the only thing that could keep me safe in my environment, I found my why.
I want to be that lifeline to someone else. I want to write books about complex families, challenging subjects, and things people like to leave unsaid, with characters that look like me and share my culture so that kids who find themselves in the predicament I was in before can have that lifeline. I want my books to validate someone's emotions and experiences. I want my books to help someone be seen. I want my books to be a light in someone's dark moment. I cried when I said that aloud.
That told me I had reached my purpose.
I told this to someone before: I leave a little of me in everything I write. I can't help it, and I don't know how to do it any other way. So I go over my wounds, open one of them and write about it.
In Mrs. Franchy's Evil Ring and the Six Months that Changed Everything, I relieve the anxiety I felt as a nine-year-old child going from a place I knew and felt comfortable into my dad's house with his wife.
I went from being the center of my grandmother's everything to feeling like a second cousin in my dad's house. This was an emotional whiplash and one that I remember vividly. I remember feeling like an outcast in a home that I was supposed to be living in. I remember knowing how my S-Mom's love for my S-Brother and S-Sister was more genuine than what she felt for me. I remember wanting to be loved so badly and not. There's a funny thing about the past that sometimes creeps into the present.
The past is never dead. It's not even past.
When I married my husband, I became an S-Mom, and when my S-Children came to live with us for six months, all these memories of me being an S-Child returned.
During this time, I struggled to deal with my scars and make sure my S-Children feel loved and welcomed in an environment that may feel alien to them. Mrs. Franchy's Evil Ring and the Six Months that Changed Everything emerged during this time.