Friday, November 17, 2017

the #metoo phenomenon

We've been surrounded in the news about stories of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. One pebble started an avalanche.

Unfortunately, there are many people who are asking "Why now?" or, even worse, "So what?" Others are saying they're tired of hearing it.

So am I, but not for the same reasons.

Having this linger in the news, to be confronted by it over and over and over brings up unwanted memories of my own #metoo history. I had put the repeated sexual molestation behind me, as I'm sure many of these women did, abandoning hope of ever regaining that control and having justice against those who made us feel ashamed of ourselves or fearful of being powerless or made an outcast. I had moved on.

However, being bombarded with this is like a constant irritant on old scars, rubbing them raw into bleeding again. I believe this is part of the reason we're seeing the explosion of accusations.

The other part is that the bravery of one victim and seeing them believed and accepted as legitimate in their suffering empowers others, like myself, to come forward. (I don't owe any explanations here, except to those who matter.)

Unless you've never experienced the emotions of being a victim of such abuse, you really have no right to judge. I'm tired of people judging. As a victim, you cycle through feeling alone, helpless, ashamed, and violated. It lingers with you, even when you think you've moved past it. The only power a victim has to really recover is to gain power over their abuser by seeing justice served. In my case, that will never happen.

I did, however, regain some of my power when, years after I got out of the situation, my parents believed me. It took my husband--then boyfriend--listening to give me that much courage. And when my parents believed me--and I never thought they would, which was why I didn't tell them sooner (part of what you feel as a victim)--I gained a new strength. Unfortunately, I still had to live with seeing the abuser on occasion; I avoided him when possible until he passed away.

You can deny all you want and say there's no proof; there rarely is, except for the invisible scars. We wear masks to cover those scars. Despite the irritant that this has been to me, this needs to stay in the public awareness to discourage the disgusting behavior of predators and prevent further injuries.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Changing Seasons

Fall is here. In my part of the world, the leaves are nearly all blown off the trees and winter's bitter sting is in the air.

I've finally hammered out the rough draft of Enlightenment into a readable story, cutting out clutter that has shortened it to be about the same length as Awakening. In the process, I made notes of aspects of it to consider while writing Eternal, the third and last book of the Luriel Cycle trilogy. In the last couple of days, I've taken the hardest step--beginning.

I'm planning on releasing Enlightenment late next spring and Eternal in the fall, if all goes as planned. I'd like to finish the rough draft of Eternal before going into final edits on Enlightenment.

I'm honored by those who encouraged me to finish the vision of this series. Thank you for your continued interest in my writing.

I'm still struggling with my personal issues, but it just means I have to work a little harder. I'm glad to be able to tell stories and enjoy the journeys of my characters taking me away from real life problems.

And that leads me to something I want to say. With its contemporary otherworld setting, this series allows me to explore some real world issues in a unique way. It offers a different perspective from a fresh palette of backgrounds and cultures in a parallel world that is a more direct correlation to our world than allegorical stories. Science Fiction and Fantasy have traditionally offered views on our Earthly existence meant to open our minds or frighten us with possibilities in a way that is much farther from reality than other genres, and perhaps in that respect is easier to accept. That is one of the reasons I have always enjoyed these genres.

I've also noticed that this series is three different books in one aspect--they each follow their own unique style rather than trying to follow the same formula for each book. I've done that with other series, probably because I get bored easily and like to change things up; in other words, I don't like formulaic writing. Enlightenment is different than Awakening and far more complex in questioning what should be clear, black-and-white good-versus-evil; rather, it is discovered to be quite murky. In the second book, the characters discover that there is no black and white, that it is all areas of gray depending upon one's perspective. Lilly is not the only one to be enlightened to that truth in the second book. There are others who must learn to accept it, no matter how much they hope to deny it (and create problems in the process). Eternal will follow an even different path as the characters mature in their transformations and finally take actions to resolve the issues that they have confronted.

And now, I'm ready to delve into the final leg of this complex story that has become something different than I ever imagined it could be. I look forward to realizing its potential and presenting it to you in due course.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Awakening is Here!

Awakening is now available and for the low price of only 99c (USD).

Expect Book 2: Enlightenment in spring 2018.


Lilly has been marked for death by daemons from a hidden world, a place known as the Shadow Realm. Within her has awakened the spirit of their enemy, one of the luriel. Such beings are myths to her, but one man is out to prove that they exist. The daemon slayer, Mychel, will introduce her to a world of shadows and light hiding beyond the comfort of science and technology, where ancient myths are real and an eternal war rages on, a war in which she has now been conscripted to fight.

One daemon is doing his best to destroy her before that happens. In human form, Darrac is able to get close to her and soon realizes that she is different—through Lilly, an ancient power has revived, a terrible power than can end the war…by eliminating both luriel and daemons. But destroying that power would mean sacrificing the one who has changed his heart.

Time is running out as the luriel within Lilly matures and her powers grow. One choice will determine the fate of two realms.


Amazon
Apple
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Smashwords

Also available in other stores.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Playing with my Buddy lately (horse pics & a video)

Buddy 9.23.17 after a good ride
Buddy's impression of Maui (demigod from Moana, who transformed and always had his hook as a pattern on his animal form)--Buddy's hook is over his rump. Also, "I like big butts!" Gotta love that that big, fish hook butt ;)
Leia (cat): How's that?
Buddy (horse): A little to the right, please...yes. Right there. Ahhh!
(Kitty massages)
Was that a mouse?
My herd! I'm coming!



Saturday, September 16, 2017

New Cover for an Old Ebook

I finally did it. I gave A Turn of Curses the cover it deserves. In 2008, it was an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest Honorable Mention. In 2009, it became my first ebook.

Sadly, it got pushed aside by bigger, more popular books that I've published, and ATOC languished into obscurity, partly for lack of a good cover.

That has been rectified. I present the new and improved cover of this little ebook:


Nineteen year old Selina has a life many would love–praised, served, and spoiled. The only problem is she didn't choose that life, because it comes with a heavy price. She will soon die, like all Healers, when the mark of Y'dom completes its pattern around her neck, and hers is nearly complete. Her gift of healing powers are sought after by all, including the ruling prince of a neighboring kingdom to heal his ailing father. Seeing this as her last chance for adventure, she makes the journey to Vastorn. 

En route she encounters Faldon, the fallen leader of the feyquin, and his band of rogues. Cursed by a demon and swearing vengeance on the human who shares his curse, Faldon does all he can to stop Selina from completing her journey. But he also knows how to save Selina, if she survives the night mares.

For more details, visit http://melanienilles.com/a-turn-of-curses.html .


Saturday, September 9, 2017

GF/DF Pumpkin muffins

We've been harvesting up a storm from our garden in the last few weeks. Pumpkins and watermelons are coming out of our ears! And we've had plenty of those also from our corn.

We're sharing what we can't eat in a timely manner and freezing what we can save for ourselves. It's a lot of work, but we've processed four large pumpkins to obtain the seeds and around 4 gallons of pureed pumpkin, which is being distributed to friends and family with plenty to keep on hand for us.

And I and my youngest child loooove pumpkin! We make pumpkin muffins and breads. Because of my food restrictions, we bake using only gluten-free flours and less inflammatory oils than the standard canola or soy.

So, before I forget the thrown together ingredients that turned into the best gf pumpkin muffins I've ever made, I want to throw it up here for me and you. This makes about eight dozen mini muffins, or at least it did this time. It would probably make about three to four dozen regular muffins.



Ingredients:

6 small-medium eggs
1 qt pumpkin puree
2 cups local honey
1/2 cup water (can be used to dissolve honey that has crystallized, simply put them together in a bowl and microwave for about 60-90 seconds on high)
3/4 cup grape seed oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend wet ingredients together then mix in the following:

1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
6 cups non-gluten flour (I used 4 cups of sorghum and 2 cups of rice flour)
1 1/2 Tbsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Once the batter is all mixed evenly, spoon into the paper cups so that it reaches the top. Don't worry, as long as you use the xanthum gum with gf flour, they will not run. Pumpkin batter from this recipe is a bit thick and doesn't settle in the cup but keeps its form pretty well.

Bake at 350 F until the tops turn slightly brown and spring back with a light finger press. The length to bake them will vary depending on whether you use metal or silicon bakeware. I prefer silicon because the bottoms don't get burned when the tops are quite satisfactorily browned.

You can top these with frosting for extra flavor. I recommend a good cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Horse pics

Nothing more. Just wanted to share some more recent pictures of my Buddy, my saving grace, the beacon of light through the darkness of the past two years of struggling with Hashimoto's and untreated hypothyroidism. Now that I am being treated, I'm moving ahead with his training and seeing encouraging results with him.

Me and Buddy Aug. 28, 2017


Buddy in his herd

My noble little big man
I often share these first on my instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/melanienilles_author/ .