Friday, June 26, 2015

Amazing nature

I encountered this coming out of our neighborhood this morning (facing west):


This morning mist rainbow occurred with the fog obscuring Bismarck, looking to the west with the sun in the east. I don't know if anyone has seen anything like this before, but it was a first for me. I'm glad I had my phone set on panorama!

ps--I didn't know such a spectacle was possible. Isn't nature amazing?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

frightening

Want to know a secret about being a writer?

We're generally (there are exceptions) introverts. Our biggest fear is the rejection of others.

With the release of Awakening, I'm afraid of that readers will not like this latest effort of imagination and find everything wrong instead of enjoying it for what it is. Those who don't "get" our work frighten us.

That's true with anything in life. We all have fears. But there's the big secret writers keep from the world, despite the protestations of many. It may be buried deep beneath years of experience or on the surface of the newbie, but it never leaves us.

We want you to like our worlds as much as we do in creating them. We hope for the best but dread the worst.

While I could say I don't care what readers think, I still have to peek on the first reviews of a new work. It still matters.

Disappointing readers frightens the bejeebers out of us!

Nevertheless, we keep working, because writing is creating and we feel compelled to express our thoughts in the form of pictures through words.

Now you know the hidden secret.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nemesis cover

Thank you for all the feedback on the cover (from all sites)!

It seems that a modification of the second cover choice in my previous post has won out...


It's a compromise between strict"science fiction" and what Starfire Angels has been, setting the tone of this story as it is, which is not a romance. That feather seems to hint that there's something more, giving it just the right touch, imho.

Now I need to get back to finishing Nemesis! I left off about halfway into the story. On a good note, the time away was just what I needed. I left off where I was muddled and this time away gave my mind the breathing space to resolve the issue that had stymied me. I now have a concise plan for the rest of the book which wraps it up quite nicely.

I hope to finish the first draft this summer and set it aside to return to Enlightenment, hopefully by end of summer/early fall, if I can get the writing up to speed again. With a clear vision of the rest, it should be easy, but it's always easy in theory :b EDIT: I've set up the preorder on Smashwords with a release date for February 4, 2016. I am committed to finishing this!

And speaking of preorders, on a final note, The Lereni Trade is now set up as a preorder on Smashwords. It will distribute to BN, Apple, and Kobo over the next couple of weeks. I'll post links when I have them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Which cover?!

Help! I can't decide which one I like best, so I'm looking for outside opinions.

Option 1:


Option 2:


I've done various iterations of each. This story in the Starfire Angels series is not a romance. It features Leksel and Valdas being forced to work together to save their lives, their beliefs (which clash), the Starfire, and the universe. It is action, drama, and an act of revenge on the part of Valdas for what has happened to her (read Phantoms for more on that).

Which cover version would most likely make you want to read the book, besides waiting on the next part of the series, if you're a fan?

Also, would you make any tweaks (besides the top blurbs, which I may change before the cover is finalized)?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Finishing the latest novella, writing plans, and more...

I have a few news items to share:

  1. Yay! I finished the first draft of The Lereni Trade, the first of the "Beyond Starfire Angels" subseries. In this, we learn that aliens other than the Inari have used Earth as a sanctuary, but they have ties to the Inari "angels" of the Starfire Angels series. This is a little different type of story, but I think you'll enjoy it for what it is. Watch for more to come on this novella, which should be available sometime this fall, around September/October. By the end of summer, I'll have a more definite date on that.
  2.  The Goodreads giveaway of twenty signed paperbacks of Awakening expires tonight. Only 8 hours remain as of this posting. And here's a secret...the paperback is already available. Tomorrow, I will be addressing envelopes to the lucky winners! The ebook is only $0.99 for a limited time on preorder through the release date. Check the book's page for links: http://melanienilles.com/Awakening-shadow-realm-saga.html. You can read the ebook before the June 28 release date, but at a premium, if you absolutely, nail-bitingly can't wait. The book is divided into four parts with the first part free.
  3. Now that the novella (mentioned above as item 1) is finished, I am going to try to get back to finishing Nemesis (Starfire Angels: Revelations Book 3) before going into Enlightenment (Shadow Realm Saga Book 2), but I am not amused with my muse when I try to determine what should be written. She often leads me off-course, so keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't lead me astray once more. If I can ignore any seductive whispers to return to SRS, I should be able to have Nemesis out by the new year, as I had originally planned.
  4. And keep your fingers crossed that my health doesn't interfere anymore. I recently had a flare-up of elevated histamine symptoms that had me being cautious about heart problems; but not to worry--I'm as healthy as one can be, according to the test performed by the medical "experts" (the same ones who continue to dismiss mast cell disorder potential without even taking the time to listen to me). I suspected histamine overload but followed up to be on the safe side--one never knows and I'm not young anymore! I know where I went wrong, however (got cocky and anxious to eat more "normal" foods and OD'd on histamine-rich foods the day the symptoms hit hard). I also learned that antihistamines have a rubberband effect on symptoms. Sure, they might ease it temporarily (ranitidine was a Godsend for a little while) but I have to wean off them ASAP and eliminate every potential food source of histamines for at least a few days while getting through a short period within 24 hours of the last dose of any antihistamine (H1 or H2) where my body thinks even a sip of water is dangerous (a burning face and prickling fingers are only hints of what might come). No more taking chances. I absolutely HATE feeling that awful (headaches, chest pain, neck and shoulder pain, stomach cramps, constipation, foggy brain, intermittent lightheadedness and dizziness, etc.). Upon my oath as a writer with fans, I will watch what I eat and pay closer attention to the warning signs of too high of a histamine load that could upset my creativity and writing! I want to finish these series as much as you ;)
  5. Related to item 1, I would like to see this world expand even further. Beyond Starfire Angels is a great opportunity for others to play in this world. If you would like to collaborate on a project using the Inari or creating other species and tying them in, please contact me first.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Just arrived!


Copies for giveaway!

Twenty copies of Awakening are up for giveaway on Goodreads. (Click this link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/140838-awakening) Less than 4 1/2 days to go! You can still enter. All will be signed, sealed, and shipped next week (after winners are selected).

Some will go to beta readers. And others will be used for promotional purposes or direct purchase (contact me using the form).

The full version will be available for purchase June 28, 2015. Another book is born!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cat break

And now for a word from my attention whore cat...Dargo


Dargo enjoys his little outings on the deck, but that's as far as we let him go--too precious to us to let him wander outside to get lost, killed, or sick--and he rolls and rolls as if to mark it with his scent in his own cat way of saying, "This is mine!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's next...

Awakening is coming out this month! (Like you didn't know...Sorry for the inundation with news over the last couple of months.) I won't say any more than that.

But what's next?

When is Nemesis coming out?

The second is the question I've answered most over the last year. I've been busy in the last year with other projects and real life. If you haven't followed it all, I released Spirit Blade last fall then went into what is now Awakening, putting off any new Starfire Angels after working on the series for five years. I finished Awakening in February and started editing to have a big health crash a month later, which took a lot of trial and error and digging and medical tests to finally get down to a likely cause and back to feeling like myself. Once I was able, I finalized all the details on Awakening and went into promotion mode, which is where I am still.

However, regaining my momentum in writing after a prolonged period of editing or nothing at all (didn't have any focus/interest in writing while I was at my worst) can take a while for me. I am still recovering from my health predicament and healing my digestive system. But with that has come greater creativity and focus, so I foresee some exciting things happening.

The most immediate is a new novella. I originally started it as an experiment in something far different, then decided to rewrite it into a tame story, and then I decided to tie it into the Starfire Angels universe. You read that right--the Starfire Angels universe. But this book expands that universe. The Beyond Starfire Angels series will focus on side stories that aren't part of the main action. It also has great potential for cowriting and/or fanfiction (please contact me if you're interested).

I believe you'll enjoy the first story set in this series, The Lereni Trade, a novella of interspecies romance with some ties to the Inari (angels) of the Starfire Angels series. These stories will be stand-alones and will only loosely tie into the main series; I don't plan on numbering them, unless I decide to write several stories tied together. Right now, however, I have two series to work on (Demon Age and Shadow Realm Saga) and just want to have something different and fun with no obligations other than the occasional random story I feel like telling. BSA will afford me that opportunity while expanding on a world already established, which can be both easier and harder.

I will get around to finishing Nemesis, but after my ordeal with my health, I have realized that I need to just enjoy what I have while I have it. That includes writing. I can't force a story. Please have patience. I will get to Nemesis when the time is right, and then the story will be well worth the wait. What I have already will make it all the more appetizing; I guarantee it (but my muse led me astray for a while).

Until then, you can sample Awakening in its four parts or wait for the preorder, and in the fall, you can enjoy seeing what else is possible with Starfire Angels in The Lereni Trade.

Thanks for reading!

---------------------

The Lereni Trade

Coming FALL 2015!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Giveaway Time!

Enter at Goodreads to win a signed copy of Awakening, the first of a new romantic fantasy series:




Goodreads Book Giveaway


Awakening by Melanie Nilles

Awakening

by Melanie Nilles


Giveaway ends June 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win