Monday, June 29, 2009

Melanie's Monday - Summertime!

Melanie here! And I'm so glad to announce that I have totally spent the first week of my summer in the best way! I got to spend the first week of my summer vacation, not only looking forward to and preparing for my upcoming roadtrip, but also by... simply...


Yeah, that might have been a tad anticlimactic, but after all the stresses of school, graduation, and party-planning, it was great to just kick back and relax, read a book, sit by the pool, go into the pool....

Let me tell you! Nothing is better than finding a good book to read and then lounging outside to read it. I've already finished three books this week! Totally entertaining.

So that was my week. How about everyone else? Anyone do anything interesting this week?

Melanie Ryder is a character that can be found in Alyssa Montgomery's short stories, Where Are You? and 9:53 P.M. (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Melanie's Monday - Summer!

It's Melanie! And now that school and Cal's graduation are over, that means that summer is officially here! Time for the beaches, pools, vacations.... (not to mention that school is out!)

I'm so excited!

Summer is one of my favorite seasons, and I plan to totally enjoy it this year! I'm going to be taking a road trip this summer with Cal, Kassie, and Cal's friend, Paul. And I have to say that I am going to have the best time! Nothing is better than hanging out with friends. Plus Cal and Paul are both going away to college, so it'll be nice for them to hang out too!

So hopefully everyone is already enjoying their summer and plans to have a blast!

Talk to you next Monday!

Melanie Ryder is a character that can be found in Alyssa Montgomery's short stories, Where Are You? and 9:53 P.M. (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interview with J.R. Turner Part 2!

And now, here is the interview you all have been waiting for! Here is the interview with J.R. Turner!!

AM: How did you get into writing?

JR: In 1999 I bought and read "For the Roses" by Julie Garwood in one day. Stuck waiting for a whole year for another book by her, I tried a few new romance authors I'd never heard of. Apparently, their covers were better than their pages because they didn't suit my tastes at all. I figured I'd rather spend the time writing the sort of book I wanted to read, then wasting time reading books I didn't care for. So, I began Loving Lillie, my first and only (and ever) historical romance that is now safely hidden away to protect innocent readers everywhere.

AM: How long have you been an author?

JR: In 2000 we moved from the big city to a small town. This meant career changes for me and my husband. He went into semi-driving, as he loved the open road, and I had a choice. I could continue on as a contract artist and keep painting portraits and signs for other people, or I could pursue my life-long dream of writing. I chose the latter (obviously) but I had never really seriously written before and I discovered very quickly how little I actually knew.

AM: What is your proudest achievement in writing?

JR: Gosh there are so many! My first was when My Biker Bodyguard won an RWA contest. I must have entered at least twenty or more of those contests and the closest I'd gotten was an honorable mention. When I took first place in romantic suspense, I was truly stoked! But then, you never forget the first time a publishing house wants to buy your book and I'll never forget the phone call that said "Stark Knight" was accepted. Since then, I'd have to say that my proudest moment was when I finally tackled that emotional hurdle I'd been struggling with for so long and discovered DFF: Dead Friends Forever made people get teary-eyed or cry. That was the validation I'd sought after dilligently trying to overcome my fear of writing emotion that felt like a low-budget cheesy soap opera.

AM: Is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

JR: I would say that they shouldn't expect much at first. Learning to write is truly a process and every step must be made before the next step can be taken. Not only do you have to learn the mechanics, but you have to learn to think like a writer, which is very different than simply writing down what you're imagining. Thinking like a writer takes time just like learning to figure skate or play the piano. You'll not be able to put on skates and do triple axles and you'll be playing chopsticks for a long while before you can pound out Beethoven's fifth. When you first put pen to paper, expect to stumble, fumble and sweat through a ton of practice before you begin to tap into your true potential. I can truly say honestly, the effort is totally worth it! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Interview with J.R. Turner Part 1!

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview fellow author, J.R. Turner. Today I will be posting the summaries of her books that she provided me, and if you tune in tomorrow, you will get the chance to read her full interview here!

AM: "How many books do you currently have published and what are they about? Where can they be purchased?"

JT: My Newest Release:

Extreme Hauntings #1 DFF: Dead Friends Forever
Skater Kaylee Hensler might not be Miss Popular, but there are some friends a girl can do without. When the decaying ghost of a murdered girl decides they need to be total BFF’s, Kaylee will sacrifice the trust of her family, her swim coach’s respect, and any hope of a date for the Harvest Dance.

And oh yeah… discover that super-evil entities are nothing at all like they are on TV or in the movies Aside from seriously bad attitudes, they not only like to kill…but replay the killing again and again for all eternity. To avoid that fate, she’ll have to rely on her wheelchair-bound friend Davey, the mysterious Madame Maggie, and the surprising depth of her own power.

Will Kaylee survive, or will she become someone else's DFF: Dead Friend Forever?

My Knight Inc. triolgy:

Stark Knight
Knight Inc. has a new mission–find a medallion, stop a madman, and rescue the boss. That makes this one personal. When clues leading to the extravagant ballroom of the wickedly wealthy uncover a devious plot disguised by the flow of champagne and false charity, Stark and Knight dress to kill. Tempted by sultry Panama, they find bombs aren't the only thing igniting this dangerous paradise. But deep in the tomb of an underground lair, the risk will become deadly as they fight to save the world and the one man they call family.

Silent Knight
Sara Stark is sent to rescue a senator's son, but when she and the boy go missing, Drake Knight will confront his deepest fears. Pawns in a power struggle, Sara and the boy are injected with a deadly virus that is more than it appears. From the Cook Islands to Lake Superior, forces put in motion decades earlier will collide in a dangerous battle where trusting the enemy of their enemy may prove fatal. It's a race against time to find a cure, the key to which only one man has, a man who must break a lifetime of silence, a man Sara and Drake call father.

Good Knight

When a mission in Montreal goes tragically wrong, Sara Stark vows to take down the group responsible. The Trifecta is a shadow organization headed by the one woman she wished had stayed dead... From Houston to Brazil, nothing will stop Sara, not even an unexpected side effect from the experimental drug the Trifecta injected her with. For her Knight Inc. partner and new husband, Drake Knight, the more dangerous threat could prove to be the battle raging within Sara between might and right. But with the welfare of the world at stake, they may not have the option of disarming their most lethal weapon…Sara herself.

My romantic suspense novels are:

My Biker Bodyguard
Keeping Jess Owen's ex-con father and their hodgepodge family of bikers out of trouble is a tough job, but one she's managed for ten years. Until bodyguard Mitch Conner brings danger and romance to her doorstep. After Jess's mother was shot by an assassin, Mitch vowed to protect her secret daughter. But when the FBI suspect Mitch contracted the hit himself and is now seducing the next in line to inherit the family fortune, his attraction to the fiery Jess may burn him in more ways than one.

Bulletproof Bride
When Robert Carson steals her murdered father's company, Mina Jackson is determined to see justice done and takes destiny in her own hands. When she barges into his life and kidnaps him at gunpoint, he's thrown into a whirlwind of betrayal, secrecy and a most unexpected complication-love.
(ebook only) Fictionwise:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Melanie's Monday - Cal's Graduation Party!

Hey everybody! Melanie again. So as I said last Monday, this week we would be talking about...

Cal's surprise graduation party!

And I'd have to say it really was a surprise. I honestly did not think that we would be able to pull it off with Cal never finding out (what with him being able to figure out everything), but we did! And he was thoroughly shocked when I walked with him through the front door of his house and everyone jumped out and yelled, "Surprise!"

I think the look of complete shock and surprise on his face was totally worth it.

He was so excited to get to see all his family, too! One of his cousins, who lives all the way in Europe, was even able to make it to the party, and I could tell that he was just ecstatic that she was able to fly all the way here to make it to his party.

Then came the food. Yeah, like I had predicted, it was a little messy, but there were generally enough tables and chairs for everyone to sit at. Cal and I, with some of his younger family, found a nice place to sit on the grass that wasn't too wet. Even from the grass in the backyard you could see all the decorations that the house was decked out in - the numerous 'Class of 2009' and 'Congrats Grad!' balloons with streamers, wall decorations, centerpieces... While it was kind of cheesy, it was still really neat.

Lastly, as we went to cut the cake, everyone gathered around the table to sing 'Happy Graduation to You'. I know Cal really enjoyed that one. He was hamming it up as the head of the table, acting as the conductor of the group. That's Cal for you!

But, all in all, I really think the party was a success! (Well, it had to be since we actually succeeded in surprising Cal!) It was the perfect way to end his high school graduation.

Melanie Ryder is a character that can be found in Alyssa Montgomery's short stories, Where Are You? and 9:53 P.M. (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Melanie's Monday - Cal's Graduation!

It's Melanie, and today I'm going to be talking about...

Cal's Graduation!!!

First, I have to say that the graduation was so beautiful! The entire hall was decorated with beautiful flowers and other plants! And combined with all the graduates wearing their black gowns, it looked truly amazing.

Of course, Cal looked wonderful in his gown. He was even graduating with Honors, so he had a medal around his neck. And when Cal walked out with the other graduates, the applause for his was tremendous. And if you thought that was loud, then you should have heard the applause when his name was called.


But the whole graduation was truly amazing (even with all the beach balls flying around!). And now I'm thinking how weird it is that Cal isn't going to be at my school anymore, but if I think it's weird that he isn't going to be at my school, I can only imagine what he must be thinking about the whole thing. I mean, it must be pretty weird and shocking to think that high school is over and that it's time to be moving on to bigger and better things. Which I know that he'll be amazing at.

Well, that's it for today! I'll see you all next Monday when we talk about Cal's graduation party!

Melanie Ryder is a character that can be found in Alyssa Montgomery's short stories, Where Are You? and 9:53 P.M. (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Melanie's Monday - Cal's Graduation Party Planning!

So, as usual, I'm Melanie Ryder, and I'm back for my weekly Melanie's Monday installment! And today I'll be continuing my talk from last week about...

Cal's surprise graduation party!

We've bought all the decorations for the party (well, except the balloons. You can't really buy those in advance), and it's all the usual stuff that says '2009' on it - plates, napkins, centerpieces, balloons (okay, so we did buy the balloons. They just haven't been inflated yet)... Basically anything that can have 2009 on it. Ha.

We've also hired this catering company to come cater the event for the night. So, naturally, they're going to be serving Cal's favorite food - lasagna - with spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. Yeah, it's a little messy and not the best food for the party, but it is Cal's party so we figured we should at least get him his favorite food. I mean, it is his party after all. Ha. And that includes a white raspberry cheesecake for dessert. Yum!

And the best part is that, with the exception of an aunt and uncle who are out of town, everyone can make it to his party! Even his cousin who's been living in Europe for the past year! Cal's going to be so excited!

So Cal's going to be graduating this week, and his party is the following week. I'll keep you all updated!

Melanie Ryder is a character that can be found in Alyssa Montgomery's short stories, Where Are You? and 9:53 P.M. (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).