Islamorada’s Macy Butler remembers a seventh-grade writing task. While assigned a simple essay by her teacher, Butler wasn’t satisfied with writing just a few paragraphs.
“I remember my teacher looking at me like, ‘You want to write a chapter book?’ I was like, ‘I want to write a chapter book,’” said Butler.
An admiration for writing and a running imagination resulted in four published books — the most recent being “Paradise Found,” which reached her doorstep on April 7. Not only that, another book she’s re-releasing next month hit the USA Today Best-Selling list.
Butler said she couldn’t think of a better time to introduce herself to the community than with the new release of “Paradise Found.” She’s a tennis addict who loves to write sassy heroines and the hot heroes that sweep them off their feet.
Butler said she started “Paradise Found,” which centers around a divorcee who falls in love with her scuba instructor during a Caribbean vacation, some two-and-half years ago before putting it aside.
“I researched the romance market and realized I should be writing series, and this was a standalone book,” she said. “The idea didn’t seem like it was part of a series. I shelved it because I had another idea.”
Nine months ago, she was asked to publish a book for March with a group of other authors as part of a travel series. That’s when she decided to return to the story she had stashed away. Within a seven-week period, “Paradise Found” was complete.
“The idea behind the Vagabond series was that no one was traveling with everyone locked in their houses because of the pandemic,” she said. “People will probably like to read about travel, so I said ‘I have this book I started that’s set in Grand Cayman.’”
“It was my fastest book and best one yet,” she continued. “It’s also my shortest, because I tend to write long. The story ends in the Keys on a fictitious island called Paradise Key.”
Originally from Tennessee, Butler received her scuba certification in the late ’90s and spent three years in the Keys as a scuba instructor. She left on a sailboat and ended up living in the mountains of Guatemala. She’d often come back to the island chain for vacation.
In 2011, she bought a home in the Keys. By 2016, she was a full-time resident.
When she’s not writing, Butler works as a physical therapist. She enjoys down time on the beach with a cocktail or a day out on the water.
“Diving attracted me,” she said. “This is where I was certified and came back to teach.”
Life took an unexpected turn for Butler during the beginnings of COVID, when her husband of 17 years left her during a spring break in Guatemala.
“The last year was insane,” she said.
The writing didn’t stop despite the way things were unfolding for Butler. She released the romantic suspense novel “Unholy Trinity” as part of the “Sinful Secrets” contemporary romance anthology. It ended up hitting the USA Today Best-Selling list at No. 125 for best-selling books on Sept. 23, 2020.
“I was in my house working on a physical therapy patient when my phone dinged repeatedly,” she said. “I went to check my phone and started screaming and jumping up and down.”
Butler is re-releasing “Unholy Trinity” next month. It’s the story of a Florida woman, Lena, who finds the courage to escape her abusive fiance two weeks before her wedding.
Lena goes into hiding in Antigua, Guatemala and makes a fast friend in Trinity, who’s a globetrotting Australian backpacker. A privileged tall, dark and handsome Guatemalan entrepreneur makes their acquaintance, and sparks fly. They band together when Lena’s past threatens to catch up with her.
In addition, Butler released the three-book “Happier Ever After” series from April 2019 to February 2020. The romance trilogy follows Sally’s personal journey of letting go of how and what she should be and embracing what she could be. Letting her guard down and exploring her wilder side opens up a new world, and her husband enjoys the benefits of a happier wife and a happier life, but it’s not without hiccups along the way.
Butler is holding a signing for her latest book at Limelight Studios and Gallery, located behind Florida Keys Brewing Co., on Thursday, April 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information on Butler and her books, visit macybutler.com.