Friday, June 28, 2013


No matter how many books I write, there's one step in the process that always makes them feel more real than any other... getting to see the book cover.  It's always such a thrill!

And the cover for WARRIOR REBORN [due for release November 26, 2013] is no exception.  Here, let me share it with you ~

Not bad, right?? 

It captures the so much of what's going in this story, I couldn't help but be pleased with it.  I hope you guys like it as much as I do!  

Stay tuned...  I'll be sharing more information soon about both this series and what I have coming in the near future!

~ Melissa            

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Five days from now, Tuesday, October 2, 2012, is a big day for me.  It's release day for WARRIOR'S LAST GIFT, my first ever short story.  My first ever ebook only.  The first time one of my stories has been released for only $1.99!!!  I'm SO excited! 

I can hardly believe it's only FIVE days until WARRIOR'S LAST GIFT goes live.   It seems only a few weeks ago I was sitting at a blank screen wondering how I could ever, EVER, manage to get a whole story into only 20,000 words.

And yet...  It happened.  The characters cooperated [finally!] and the story came together, just as it needed to unfold. 

The thing is, for every book I write, secondary characters appear.  It sometimes feels as though I have no control over them.  They just show up and insert themselves into the story and I can't push them out or the story won't work. 

And every single character that pops up has his or her own backstory. 

I don't usually know their whole backstory the first time I "meet" them.  Sometimes I don't know that story until they've made all their appearances in the book I'm working on and then it hits me.  Often those backstories are the reason a character will get his or her own story.

So it was with Jeanne MacGhie Horvesson.  By the time I finished WARRIOR'S REDEMPTION, I knew I had to do something for Jeanne.  She might be only a kitchen maid, but she'd been such a good friend to my heroine, Dani.  And what had her reward for her friendship been?  Her whole life had been turned upside down by the story's end.   

How could I leave her that way?

Her character nagged at me, even as I began putting together the next book, WARRIOR REBORN [due out October 30].  When I was offered the opportunity to write a short story to fit inbetween REDEMPTION and REBORN, I jumped at it.  Maybe this was my chance to set things right for Jeanne.

The only problem was, I'd never written anything shorter than 80,000 words!  How the heck was I going to pull a whole story together in a quarter of that space???

I sat down at the computer, sweet tea close at hand, and just like that, Jeanne's whole backstory came to me.  And once it did, I had no choice.  Jeanne gave up everything for love and for honor.  She is possibly the most loyal character I've ever known.  Because of that, she and Eric, stubborn and hard-headed as they both may be, deserved their Second Chance at a Happy Ever After.  I hope I've done justice to them in 20,000 words!  :-)

Oh!  You don't have to wait until next Tuesday to order your copy.  WARRIOR'S LAST GIFT is available for pre-order now at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble!

I'd love to hear from you after you read Jeanne and Eric's story. I'd like to know if you believe in Second Chances as much as I do.  

Until next time, Happy Reading!

~ Melissa

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Web Site Update

Good afternoon, Readers!

I wanted to take a few minutes to update you on the progress over at my website.

As some of you know, my wonderful WebDiva left the business a few months back and, me being me, I dragged my feet and procrastinated like crazy in doing anything about the situation.  As a result, my website is woefully out of date.

And now, again, me being me, I'm in a typical time-crunch to get the darn thing updated!  [I'm beginning to suspect I only accomplish something when I'm under a time-crunch, but let's keep that little tidbit just between us...].

I'm self-teaching Dreamweaver - ACK!!! - and working through tutorials on the software.  By the end of next week, you should see my [rudimentary] results.  I'm stumbling through the first page first, adding the new book cover for Warrior Reborn.  [I haven't seen a cover for Warrior's Last Gift yet].

So... many thanks for your patience. 

And a reminder...

If you haven't already, SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER now!!!  As soon as the website is tweaked, I'll be switching over to "There's a New Book Coming Soon" mode. 

What does that have to do with my newsletter?  Simple.  By mid-August [just in time for my birthday!] I'll be hosting a series of contests.  One for August, one for September and one for October.  [Warrior's Last Gift - e-book only - releases Oct. 2 and Warrior Reborn releases Oct. 30].  And the ONLY place you can find and enter those contests will be from the newsletters I send out.

What are the prizes, you ask?  [Okay, you probably didn't ask, but I'm telling you anyway].  For August and September, I'll be giving away books and swag that I picked up at the conferences I went to this summer.  I find it almost impossible to walk away from a free book, but my shelves are brimming over and I love to share!

For October, just in time for the two new releases, the prizes will include a necklace and earring set I've designed [translation:  I had a picture in my mind] and that's being actually produced by my talented daughter in law, Megan, from Trinkets N Tidbits. [Translation:  Megan tries to read my mind, poor girl].  I'm sure October's contest will include an autographed copy of Warrior Reborn, too.

Okay.  That's it from me for now.  I'm back to the salt mines [which, in this case, is simply this same keyboard, just with the internet turned off].

~ Melissa

Monday, July 2, 2012

Life and Art - All Mixed Up!

Those of you who visit my website regularly or follow me on Facebook likely already know what a geek I am when it comes to research.  I ♥ it so much that sometimes I think research might be my favorite part of writing!  ☺

Well, what's true in my writing life is also true in my real life.  About 15 years ago, I got totally hooked on hunting my genealogy.  The more I found, the more I wanted to know.  The discovery that some of my lines led back to Scotland was what enticed me to go there.  And visiting there on vacation, sitting in the real-life Fairy Glen, is what encouraged me to write that first book in the Daughters of the Glen series - Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband.   

Now I've found an even deeper connection between the genealogy research and the writing research...

After eight books in the Daughters of the Glen series, we decided to begin a Spinoff series - The Warriors.  Characters from one move freely into the other as they all inhabit the same world of Medieval Highlanders.  The biggest difference?  The new "core" family is descended from Vikings who settled in Scotland.  [They're also descended from Norse gods.  And Faeries. But that shouldn't be a surprise if you've read any of my books.  ☺].  See the possibilities for hours upon hours consumed by my beloved research?  Yeah.  I was in heaven with the changes.  Still am.  Currently working on a character descended from the Picts.  Know how little information there is on the Pictish culture????  But I digress.  As usual.  ☺

So... where does the 'art' of my writing get mixed up with the 'life' part?

A few months ago I signed up for a DNA test through   It was the kind that traces where your people originate from, giving you a sense of where in the world your ancestors lived.  I fully expected to see the highest percentage [51%] of my ancestors having come from the British Isles -- my research points to Scotland, Ireland and England on BOTH sides of my family.   I had long teased my sons that they actually ARE the Highlanders I write about, so this finding made perfect sense to me. 

What I DIDN'T expect was the location of the second highest percentage [32%].  Scandinavian!!  Sweden, Denmark and Norway, to be precise.  I'd found NOTHING to support that finding... or had I???

The research I'd done for The Warriors series had already shown me how Vikings [from Norway and Denmark] had traveled all over the world, but, specifically, many of them settled on the Northwest coast of Scotland --  in the Highlands, as well as other parts of Scotland, England and Ireland.  

Now I get to tease my sons that not only are they the Highlanders I write about... they're also the Viking descendants I write about!

Life and art -- all mixed up!

What about you?  Are you an avid genealogy researcher?  Struggling to learn more about your ancestors?  Or are you simply an admirer of medieval Highlanders and Vikings [ who isn't???]   ☺  

By the way... if you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, this would be a good time to do it.  In the next month or so I'll be starting a contest to give away books and swag I've picked up at some of the conferences I've attended this summer.  My newsletter is the only place you'll find information on the contests.  You can go HERE to sign up now. 

Until later ~

~ Melissa

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Coming October 30, 2012 - WARRIOR REBORN

Warrior Reborn - November 2012
Isn't he beautiful? 

That's the new cover for my upcoming release, WARRIOR REBORN.  He'll be in stores on October 30, 2012, but he's already available for pre-order online.

This is Chase Noble's book.  That's right... the missing brother of Destiny and Leah from the Daughter's of the Glen series.  Chase isn't missing anymore.  At least he doesn't start out missing at the beginning of the book...

Here's the back cover copy:

Former special ops agent CHASE NOBLE has been searching his whole life for the place where he belongs.  As a descendant of Fae, he senses fate has more in store for him.  And he will not rest until he discovers what his true purpose is.  When he travels back in time to medieval Scotland, he discovers his mission is to save a beautiful woman -- the same woman he is destined to be with.

CHRISTIANA MACDOWYLT possesses the gift of foresight.  Prisoner of her evil half brother, Christiana has visions that show her that only one warrior can rescue her -- a man she is mysteriously drawn to.  The only problem is, he's in the future.  Now she must rely on the magic of a Faerie to transport him to the past.  And when Christiana finally meets Chase, the sparks between them set off a smoldering desire.  But will the magic that brought them together also tear them apart?

Monday, November 21, 2011


For my last several books, I have dithered over whether or not to use a book video to promote the book's release.  Could a video actually convey the feel of the book or would it give readers a false sense of what the book was about?   Would it help readers visualize the characters to see faces associated with them or would it be off-putting?  Would it strike a chord or fall flat?

Yep, DITHERED... that is such a perfect word for me.  :-)  Back and forth, first one decision and then the opposite, never actually making any decision at all.

Then I met a fellow author who actually produces her own book trailers.  She also does them for other authors.  I thought her work was lovely.  And it didn't hurt that I like her as a person, too!   Grounded in that trust, I finally decided to take the Video Plunge!!

Lex Valentine, the creative force behind Winterheart Design, produced this trailer for me.  I love what she did and how she captured the feel of the story through the colors she used, the photos she chose and, most of all, the music she added.   I hope you'll love it, too.  [And if you're an author looking for your own trailer or a book cover -- which she also does a lovely job of creating -- I hope you'll stop by her site and check out her work].  My thanks to Lex!

The video "lives" on YouTube.  When you click on the video below, you'll receive a notice to that effect.  Click again on the WATCH ON YOUTUBE message and you will be taken to it's home on YouTube [music licenses and all that technical stuff require this].   You will probably have to click in the middle of the black screen once you get there before you'll hear the wind blowing...

So, here we go.  Drum roll please...

In advance of the December 27, 2011 release of WARRIOR'S  REDEMPTION, I give you my very first ever book trailer:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Reader First...

Isn't it funny how some books crawl in the back of your mind and stick with you forever?  

I hadn't really thought about this for a while but it came up when I was responding to a lovely blogger who invited me to visit her blog in December.  *Waving to Kati at ROMANCING RAKES *  She asked what my favorite Christmas Romance is and would I be willing to give away a copy when I visit her blog.

Product DetailsWow... my favorite Christmas Romance.  I don't know if I can do that.  How do I even begin to remember ONE book out of the thousands I've... Wait!  One popped right into my thoughts even before I could finish lamenting about the difficulty of the question.  Christina Skye's CHRISTMAS KNIGHT. 

Released in October 1998, that means it's probably been thirteen years since I read the book but I so remember that story.   I can still visualize the characters when I think about them!  I can close my eyes and actually SEE Ronan MacLeod approaching Hope's cottage and working on the thatched roof and... well, I think I've made my point.

I was a voracious reader long, long before I ever began to write my first book.  Books were my fantasy world of choice from the time I first began to read.  [Dick and Jane and Spot, anyone?]  Books have always been my passion.  I have hundreds of them packed away in plastic storage boxes in the crawl space because I have no more room on the shelves in my office.  Or on the back of my bed.  Or in my closet.  Or in my bedside table.  Or... well, you get the picture.  I'm sure many of you have the same... um... storage issue.  And those don't even take into account all the books I've given away to thrift shops and libraries and friends.

Storage problems aside, I love books.  And while there are thousands of stories I've enjoyed, there are some that still linger in the back of my mind, ready to jump out at a moments notice.  You, too? 

The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, Book 7)I read and loved every single book in the NANCY DREW series.  I idolized Carolyn Keene for the wonderful stories she wrote.  I wanted to BE her.  [Can I just tell you how disappointed I was when I learned, years later, that "Carolyn Keene" was actually several different people who wrote those books?] 

Product DetailsThen there was Mary Stewart's THE MOONSPINNERS.  I saw it first as a Disney movie and then hunted down the book at my local library.  The book was soooo much better that it still has a place -- all these years later! -- on my keeper shelf.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the SoulDouglas Adams is probably best known for his HITCHKIKERS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE books, but my all-time favorite of his works [and one of my all-time favorite stories ever and a big part of the reason I wrote my first book] is THE LONG DARK TEA-TIME OF THE SOUL.  I LOVE that book.  [Though I'll admit, every time I read it, I imagine there's one more chapter that ties up things the way I want them tied up!]  If you haven't read this, you really need to give it a try.  And if you want a real treat, find yourself a copy of the audio version [so old it's on cassette tapes!] of the author reading the full story. 

So, Kati's question got me to thinking... what IS it about those books that made them so unforgettable to me?   As you can see, my best loved books aren't all Romance [okay, most are, and for the ones that aren't, I pretend they have the HEA I crave!].  So what's the one thing about them that really hooked into my imagination?  For me, it all boils down to the characters. 

There's nothing like having a character come to life in my imagination as I get to know them while reading their story.  I think that's why I'm NEVER satisfied with a movie or television adaptation of books I've loved.  The character living in my head exists only there so any actor chosen to play the part is an imposter to my way of thinking.  Ruins the story for me.  From Keene's spunky, smart, ahead-of-her-time Nancy Drew, to Adams's funny, perservering Kate Schechter [who, by the way, I see as the heroine of this story even though reviewers insist the book belongs to the private eye, Dirk Gently], these characters have taken on their own lives in my imagination.

Now that I've shared a few of my favorites, tell me yours.  Is it the characters that make the stories unforgettable for you, or is it something else?  Come on, share... I'm always looking to add a new favorite to my seriously overflowing bookshelves!