Happy New Year! I'm so excited by the crazy amount of work I've lined up for this year.
First up, the latest ROLL OF THE DICE novel, EYE OF THE TIGER! I'll go on about Natalie and Evan's story at greater length once I've recovered from the virus-that-doesn't-want-me-to-work, but for now I'm excited to share the gorgeous cover (designed, as always, by the talented Killion Group.)
The other novels and novellas on the cards for this year are going to be such fun to work on...so long as I don't get too obsessed by my new favorite distraction, Instagram. Come follow me! You'll surely never tire of well-filtered shots of my gorgeous dog.
I hope your plans for 2016 are energizing enough to keep your spirits up even if you, too, have the virus-that-thinks-you-should-sleep-lots-more-and-forget-words-halfway-through-saying-them.
I'm consolidating my various giveaways into one handy form!
You like free books? Free audiobooks? Review copies? All of the above? Just subscribe to my newsletter and you will get to pick one of my books, free.
(Share this with others, that would make you a superb human being.)
(You are already a superb human being.)
I've mentioned my love of audiobooks (maybe more than once. It's a deep love. A Happily Ever After kind of love.)
So you can imagine how excited I was to get the notification that RETREAT TO LOVE's audio production - read by the stellar Amy Rubinate - is now available!
Would you like a FREE COPY? Of course you would! Sign up for my NEWSLETTER below and you'll be automatically entered in a drawing for it.
As usual, Amy did a beautiful job bringing my story to life, and I know you'll enjoy hearing her narrate Ashlyn's journey to the FireWind artists' retreat, and her emotional journey as she confronts a family secret, and finds an unexpected love.
Check out the sample, then head to Audible or iTunes to put RETREAT TO LOVE in your ears!
One of my favorite parts of writing is generating backstory. This rich history of what happens before Page One adds depth and richness to the characters, even if it doesn't make it into the finished book.
In creating the world of RETREAT TO LOVE, I wrote a story about how Ashlyn's Gran and Pappa met. It didn't fit into the novel, but their relationship has a massive impact on how Ashlyn views the world. I'm excited to share their earliest days with you here.
Enjoy IRISH CHAIN, and check back here soon for an update on the RETREAT TO LOVE audiobook!
Are you a member of Goodreads?
Head over there and put your name in the drawing for a free paperback copy of RETREAT TO LOVE - but hurry! Entries close on 8/17.
This site is a finalist!
I entered melaniegreene.com in the West Houston RWA's Romancing the URL Contest. And it's doing well so far! I am one of three finalists in the Contemporary Category, so fingers crossed, y'all. Winners announced in August.
What do you think? Is my site beautiful enough to win?
IRISH SODA BREAD
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats & a bit more to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
(optional: 1 cup raisins or currants, rinsed in hot water & patted dry)
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten lightly
Into a large bowl, sift together 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the whole-wheat flour and 1 cup oats, plus caraway seeds and raisins. Add the buttermilk and egg and stir the mixture until it forms a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, adding in as much of the remaining 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour as necessary to form a manageable but sticky dough.
Halve the dough, form the halves into round loaves, and put them on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the loaves lightly with additional oats, dust them with flour, and bake in the middle of a preheated 350° oven for 30-35 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.
Cool on a rack before eating. I mean it! Cool first, then eat! (Add Irish butter, lashing of jam, smoked salmon, or other toppings as desired.)
I was excited this morning to find the narrator of my Roll of the Dice audiobooks, Amy Rubinate, interviewed at the fabulous romance audio site, Audiogals.
Head over there to find out more about Amy and her intriguing new audiobook production company. There are giveaways for free audios, too!
You can hear samples of Amy's narration of Rocket Man and Ready to Roll on those titles' pages here. And buy them at Audible.
PS - Retreat to Love will be available in audio someday, too! I haven't started that process yet.
In 5th grade, I realized I was a writer.
I know it was 5th grade, because in 5th grade I had Penny Heap, World's Best Teacher, and she told me I was a good writer. And I vowed to make her proud, because there was nothing better in the world than pleasing Mrs. Heap. (Her name was Penny! She drove a silver sports car! She moved me so I didn't have to sit by the mean girls!)
So I threw myself into my new craft, and a couple of Super Awesome Validating Things happened to set I Will Be A Writer When I Grow Up firmly into the concrete of ... my soul? (That metaphor got away from me a bit.)
First, one of my poems was picked to go in the "Creative Writing" section of my elementary school newsletter. Okay, yes, it was more a rip-off than an homage to Clement Clarke Moore, but let's give eleven-year-old me a break, shall we? I was a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.
And then! Encouraged by the glittering success of my first publication, I went on to submit what I seem to recall were at least four poems (all heavily influenced by Shel Silverstein) to my beloved local library - and I won!
FIRST PLACE, BABY. That's right. I'm now an AWARD WINNING AUTHOR. With MULTIPLE PUBLICATIONS:
(In case y'all can't tell, I've been cleaning out some old paperwork lately. I also found the program from the terrible play my husband and I attended on our first date, my 9th grade report card - ouch, though it did make my current 9th grader feel better about his own performance - and a postcard Salman Rushdie sent to my graduate thesis advisor.)
With early encouragement - and, let's face it, raw talent - like this, is it any wonder I am sitting on my sofa in my jammies today, a Real Author?
As my RETREAT TO LOVE Pinterest board makes abundantly clear (as does the book itself, I suspect!), I think quilting is fabulous.
But I'm not especially talented.
Kind of a good thing, really, because quilting takes a ton of time, and if I was better I'd want to spend alllllllllllllll my time hunched over my sewing machine instead of hunched over a keyboard.
(I have poor posture.)
Regardless, I try periodically to put together a quilt that does me credit, and no matter how approximate my corners, I love the process.
I've written about some of the work I've done on my general books / life blog, and wanted to link to it here so y'all could check out my creations. But remember, Ashlyn in RETREAT TO LOVE is a far, far more talented artist than I could ever hope to be.
Writing is a journey undertaken by the mind in conjunction with the soul....