Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Wishing you the best for 2020

Wishing you all the best in the upcoming new year. May yours be filled with blessings and good fortune!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

a small update

Is it just my Siamese or do they all manage to look pissed off much of the time, even when they're being lovey-dovey?

typical Dargo expression
He does have other expressions, but this seems to be the most common. He's still my writing helper, always in my lap or nearby. He's such a snuggler.

My thyroid issues have been giving me problems lately. I've been managing, but it hasn't been easy. The headaches, fatigue, body aches, sinus issues, and foggy brain are the worst. It's made writing difficult, but I'm adjusting my meds to keep up my energy and creativity. At least I've been sleeping better, but waking up tired isn't helpful. I had middle life.

I finished editing rounds on several books this past month. IN DARKNESS, LIGHT is available now, after its final round of edits earlier this month. I also managed some rewriting/developmental edits of THE DESTRUCTION OF WALLS and DISPOSITION OF DREAMS. TDOW is available for pre-order and still has another round of edits before its ready for release in March. DoD will be listed about the time TDOW is available.

I just need to get #7 written now. This one is a bit more of a challenge, partly because of the thyroid flare-up. I've had trouble getting it going, but I think this third opening chapter attempt is the charm. It seems to have come together. Getting that character sense is what is most difficult during a thyroid flare (autoimmunity and the resulting low-function that comes from it messes up everything in the body, especially the brain). I do what I can when I can in writing during these periods. It's a struggle, but I love this series and have too much planned to give up. I'm only starting book 7 and I have 20-24 planned! I can't give up now. I've barely begun.

I'm looking forward to the new year in writing. I have some exciting stories to write!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Blessed Christmas

Matthew 2:6
'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

living Christmas decorations

Dargo was snoozing on the dividing wall between the front room and kitchen. The first is with the light on and the second is before I turned the light on. He isn't crazy about real snow, so we'll let him enjoy the fake stuff.

I'll probably regret saying this, but our cats don't bother the Christmas tree, except to play under it, but we learned not to hang ornaments too low. And it's a fake tree, so no worries about needles or fires. They just don't have any desire to climb, although when they were kittens, that was a different story.

Monday, December 16, 2019

New website look

Melanienilles.com has a clean, fresh look that's brought it up to date.

I had an update in the works that wasn't going anywhere and received a referral for a new designer. I appreciate Dave's clear communication and the many Zoom meetings in which details were hashed out and the functionality explained to me. He was very professional and easy to work with and put in 110% effort. In a little over a month since I contacted him, the general vision I had for the new site became a reality.

A fresh design, whether a book cover or a website, is a joint effort by the owner and the artist.  My new design is simple and clean with few bells and whistles but is easy to navigate and serves its intended purpose. All of my book covers are on the carousel at the top of each page with full individual series included within each applicable book page, along with ebook purchase links.

I'm happy with it and the functionality, but I didn't need much. It's also easy for me to update with no more Dreamweaver required.

One more big project done!

Now, back to editing.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

the Forgotten Worlds series and teasers of what's to come

Now that the fourth book in the Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds series is nearly here, I thought I'd say something about what to expect in this series.

I've been planning the books very carefully but very flexibly. In other words, I have the general outline of the action of the series to reach the ultimate conclusion. However, I also have planned character arcs and what I expect out of each of the main characters. Again, those are also flexible. I have the general arcs but allow for some variability within that and some surprises. Nothing is set in stone, except the points I have to hit along the way.

By the fourth book, the story is pretty well established with all but one of Nya's team brought together. There will still be some departures and some new arrivals along the course of the series, but probably not more than two or three changes before the end. (As I said, the story can still surprise me.)

In book one, you meet Nya and learn about the Issan, Paxons, and Ethalians, and the Starfire's purpose is revealed. It is the just the introduction to a much broader story. In book two, you get a glimpse of the immensity of the galaxy in which Nya has arrived, and she receives a gift that will play a significant role farther into the series. In book three, you will learn the truth of the influence of Nya's people in that galaxy and the reason for Ethalian telepathy. In book four, you will learn deadly details about the Issan and their plans that no one in the galaxy knew, because the Issan are a secretive race, and a new character will join the team.

In the next book, the team will learn to work together in taking on the Issan in a head-to-head confrontation and they will all realize who their new member is. The truth will challenge them. In book six, new readers to the Starfire Angels series will get a glimpse of Inari life that readers of the earlier parts of the series already know, so that will be a revelation to some reaaders or a visit to the past for others. There will also be a tie-in to the end scene in book one, so pay attention. In Book seven, I plan to reveal a few details about certain questionable characters, not the core team, which will hint at possible problems in the group. In Book eight, I'll be having fun with the events. Nya expects some excitement, but she won't be prepared for the betrayal. Book nine or ten should introduce the last member of the team. At some point, there will be a royal wedding. There will be loyalties tested, outright betrayals, and the continuing mission to locate the Starfire shards, along with a hint of what will ultimately defeat the threat to the universe.

And that is barely the first half of the series! I have even more excitement planned for the second half with the established team and developing relationships. I have never written something so ambitious in the undertaking, but it is a challenge that I am enjoying. I have SO MANY ideas for individual books in this series that I expect to be writing it for the next five years.

So, stick around awhile and give it a chance. The first book barely dips your toes in the water. You'll want to wade in further than just one book. There's so much more to come.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Current writing status

I already mentioned this on my MeWe page, but for those who aren't on that social media network, I'll bring it here. I always try to include both when I have something I feel might be interesting to readers.

I just wrote the synopsis for Forgotten Worlds #7. I didn't have an idea for that until thinking about something after church today. When I sat to write one idea, it totally morphed into the perfect adventure and another book in this series that is heavy in the overarching series plot. It's so weird sometimes how creativity works. You think you want to do one thing then get going on it and it completely surprises you. I love it! (In this case, it's just the plotting stage.) And this couldn't have worked without the new character I've add in #4 (coming December 19!).

It seems like the odd numbers so far are heavy on the overarching plot and the even numbers are side adventures still in the series plot but much lighter in it... So far. Things could change, but not for a while. #8 is going to be the Orast Belt plot I mentioned on my blog a while back. Even that plot will be a little different than what I had planned but it will be a lighter plot again. It's going to be so much fun!

I have ideas for over 20 books. I don't know exactly how long this series will be, but I know the final handful of books will be heavy on building up to the finale. In other words, no "fillers" or side adventures when it gets down to the wire.

So, once I get through the current editing passes of #5 and #6, I will begin writing #7. By then, the idea will have time to settle and shake out and the gaps I left for optional action and diversions will have time to develop.

Book 5 will be The Destruction of Walls (front and center below). I will probably schedule that for release in mid-March.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


I'm finally finished editing this book and have uploaded it to be ready to go for December 19, 2019!

If you haven't already pre-ordered IN DARKNESS, LIGHT, you can still do so. I think readers who have been keeping up so far will enjoy this latest adventure of Nya and her friends... and a new... er... friend? You'll have to decide for yourself what to think of the new addition.

(Note: I haven't updated my website with this and the following books yet because I've been in the process of working with someone to redesign the site. This and the next two books will be added when the new website is ready.)

After leaving Ethal, Nya is on her way to visit the worlds of the Starfire crystal with her new friends. However, Zaer has unfinished business, a delivery rumored to give enemies of the Issan a chance to defeat them, and she's not about to abandon it for any reason. Nya and the others have no choice but to go along with the plan.

What should be a simple exchange on the quiet, lowly world of Kurtuz turns out to be a trap. A group of Issan supporters are waiting and ready to do whatever it takes to stop the little black box from reaching its intended recipient. When her friends are taken, Nya must join forces with a mysterious stranger to save them before the Issan capture everyone.

Pre-order today:
Barnes and Noble

Sample pages will become available in the next few days at these retailers.