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Bay Horse Press

Official Site of Author April Henley

My Books

Treasures in a Bottle by April Henley book cover

A medieval fantasy for those who love the Arthurian Legend, Merlin, dragons and other mythical creatures, and magic.

What happened to the great and powerful wizard Merlin after King Arthur? The old narratives say he disappeared, was cursed and imprisoned by an enchantress, or turned into a bird and entered the esplumoir. But now, a new story comes to light, revealing the lost chapter of the wizard's life a hundred years after the death of the King.

Merlin is a retired wizard living with dragons in their mountain keep. One day, the lord of dragons approaches him to ask him to use his magic to prevent magical creatures from disappearing from the world. Merlin devises a plan that is strange and a little daunting, and it sets him on a path of discovery. Follow him as he sees wonders, both beautiful and terrible, in the realms of fantastic beasts and beings, learns ancient truths, and confronts a tragedy in his past. Treasures in a Bottle is a story with magic and heart, a treasure, if you will, to anyone who gets lost in its pages.

An illustrated chapter book for all ages that doubles as a coloring book. Be spellbound by over 200 pages of story and color 50 stunning images as you go.


Winner of The BookFest Awards Spring 2024!

  • First Place > Juvenile - Myths, Fable

  • Second Place > Juvenile - Fantasy & Magic; Children's - Chapter Books; Fantasy - Dragons & Mythical Creatures



Author April Henley with coffee

April Henley (that's me) is a graduate of Baylor University, lives in Texas, and works as a Professional Writer in marketing. My passion for story writing started in a Creative Writing class in high school. I wrote my first story (that is now "Treasures in a Bottle") and would revisit it again and again through college and my 20s. In 2020, I came back to the story one more time and, in 2023, published it.

When I write, it is by the window with a view of my garden, a cup of tea, and a candle burning - no artificial lights, no distractions - just me and my characters, and the only sound is the strokes of the keyboard. I author Fiction/Fantasy stories for younger audiences, inspiring children to use their imaginations and encouraging readers of all ages to get lost between the pages. My outside interests include horseback riding, Renaissance festivals, cosplay, food, and travel.


Writing Advice from my Favorite Author

If I don't write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind...The tale's narrative cutting edge starts to rust, and I begin to lose my hold on the story's plot and pace...The work starts to feel like work, and for most writers that is the smooch of death.

Stephen King,
On Writing

I often have an idea of what the outcome may be, but I have never demanded of a set of characters that they do things my way...In most (instances), (the outcome) is something I never expected.

Stephen King,
On Writing

The Writing Manifesto

If it works, fine. If it doesn't, toss it. Toss it even if you love it...Murder your darlings.

Stephen King,
On Writing

Bay thoroughbred
Author April Henley with her horse, Tommy

What's in a Publishing Name?

Why the name Bay Horse Press? Choosing a name for my publishing brand was a creative and challenging process. I had a list of at least twenty names to consider, including The Dragon's Book Hoard, Wildwood Press, and Once Upon a Page, but I wanted the name to be personal. One of my most endearing life chapters was my time as a horse owner and the memories I made with my bay thoroughbred, Tommy. When I first got this amazing animal, I wanted him to get to know me and learn my voice, so I sat in his stall and read to him. First it was Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", then "Seabiscuit", then the works of Edgar Allan Poe, assorted fairytales and fables, and finally "Gone with the Wind". It was one more way I got closer to him in between rides and grooming and cookies. Though he has passed on from this life, his memory is alive, and I guarantee it will race through the pages of future writings.


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