The last month has seen me hiding in my editing cave yet again. This time for INIQUITY.
I am pleased to say that INIQUITY will be released later this year. I'm aiming for the end of October 2016, but will confirm his date when I have a firmer idea about time scales.
Self publishing INIQUITY was always a consideration of mine, and to be honest, I had no idea whether to face the query trenches with it, seek out representation with Reuts or another small publisher, or go it alone. But after speaking to several people at the Leeds Author Signing, and after receiving detailed feedback for the manuscript from my three CP's, I've decided to self publish it. This could be the best decision I've ever made, or it could be an absolute nightmare. Only time will tell.
Holding my hand through the editing stage will be Katelyn Stark of Stark Contast Editing. I worked with Katelyn many years ago and am incredibly excited to be working with her again. We were a great partnership before, and I'm sure we will be this time whilst getting INIQUITY whipped into shape for release into the world.
I've also got an incredibly talented cover designer working with me to capture the theme of INIQUITY--her work has always impressed me and I'm very excited about what she'll come up with for this.
The 'Love is' trilogy has made progress, I'm 5 chapters into the first book, LOVE IS EVERYTHING, and have covers already sorted for all three books in the trilogy. Unfortunately I will have to sit on them for several months until I can reveal any of them. But they are STUNNING and capture the mood and tone of the books perfectly.
So, as Katelyn and I head into line editing INIQUITY, I will also be sorting out another pass on SACHAEL DELUSIONS, getting the next book in the MINE SERIES ready for Kisa at Reuts.
I also have a few dates for your calendar:
I have confirmed places at the Darker Side author signing in Peterborough next October, and the Edinburgh Author Signing Event in May 2018. There are a few others to be confirmed and I'll let you know about them once I have official notification of a place. To keep updated, check out my Events and Signings page. It'd be great if I could see you there :)
Last weekend I had the enormous pleasure of attending a signing event in Leeds organised by the lovely ladies at Hourglass Events. This was my first 'big' signing, keeping company with 60 other authors throughout the day.
I knew, before I went, that this weekend wasn't just about selling books. It was about meeting new people, readers, bloggers, authors, and chatting to as many people as possible to grow my network of friends and general contacts--and sell books.
And that's what happened.
I have made, what I hope to be, a few new and special friends, a handful of fellow authors. Two of them I knew from tweets and general talk on twitter, but they were not people I felt I could reach out to. After this weekend I know I can chat to Emma Adams and Carrie Elks whenever I want or need to, and I hope they feel the same about me. I also got talking to Hazel Robinson and Katie John, people I'd never met or even 'liked' on facebook or twitter. I'm confident we will stay in touch for a long time, and you never know, Katie's publishing company, Little Bird Publishing, may be a place I'll look to in the future. (that is if she'll have me!) Our evening consisted of us stumbling out of the Marriott hotel at about 7pm on Friday and proceeding to find somewhere to eat and carry on drinking. And it was in a tiny Italian restaurant that we got to know each other over a couple of glasses of wine and lot of general laughing.
Saturday was manic: 60 authors setting up in a room all at once made for a very busy atmosphere, but when the door opened at 10am everyone slipped into their nervous anticipated personas.
I loved the event, loved the people I met, and am looking forward to my next signing, which may, or may not be Manchester in August, later this year.
The hardest part of the 2 days away - lugging my suitcases, full of Melody Winter swag and books, onto and off the trains. And the steps in Leeds!!!! (Thanks to the nice kind men who offered to carry the suitcases down the steps, who ignored my warning of how heavy they were, and who subsequently will probably have dodgy backs of the rest of their lives!)
So, I'd like to thank everyone who came to see me on the day, to the readers and bloggers who stopped to chat, and to all the other authors who were a wonderful bunch. It was a fabulous event.
I also HAVE to thank my mum and Denise. My mum came with me on the train and helped with the luggage (what a superstar), and Denise was my assistant for the day--she was a diamond!
So, Emma, Carrie, Hazel, and Katie, be warned, you are now on my list of top writerly friends. I shall stalk you and your work for the foreseeable future. Leeds wouldn't have been the same if I hadn't met you all and Leeds ROCKED with you. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!
UNTIL NEXT TIME!!!!!
I was recently invited to take part in the love letter challenge by Em Shotwell. The challenge was to write a love letter from one of your characters to another. I thought about writing a letter from Azariah to Estelle, but decided to let you have a rare glimpse into Lilith's head.
This letter was written by 17 year old Lilith, alone, desperate and pining for the man she loved.
My Dear Kaimi
It’s been four months since I last saw you. Four months since our night together. I remember it well. There was a full moon, and it lit the beach in its shimmering glow as we walked hand in hand through the soft tumbling waves.
I'm not a person who makes endless New Year resolutions--they only tend to get broken and then the guilt takes over. So instead of setting hard and fast rules for myself, this year I've taken more time to look back at what I've achieved and what I'm going to try and achieve this year with my writing.
I had my debut novel published AND also the second book in the series. 2 BOOKS RELEASED IN 2015. I'm pretty chuffed about that. I did my first book signing and it went really well--I met lots of interesting people and had a great time chatting to everyone who came to say hello.
I also had two short stories accepted for an anthology Not-So-Local Legends of Triumph and Terror which will be published later this year.
I made several new 'writing' contacts as well as making lots of new friends along the way.
I also made a start on some new stories which I'm incredibly excited to get into the world for you all to read. These include:
INIQUITY - I'm working on an official blurb for this NA Dark Romantic Fantasy. If you like demons, and a world thrown into darkness, then you may want to keep your eyes open for this ones release.
It's still in its early stages, currently with its first CP, and then there's another CP and structural feedback from an editor before I decide exactly how I'm going to approach publishing it.
GLOW - Originally written as a short story for entry into an anthology, this NA Dark Romantic Fantasy is a mix-up of fairytale retellings. If you like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and maybe a little bit of Snow White, then this story may grab you. But be warned, it's certainly not to be read as a bedtime story.
I've also given a lot of thought to two stories I wrote several years ago. The story lines for both still really excite me, and I'm contemplating rewriting them for release - these will be self-published.
The first story is slightly different from what I normally write as it's NA Contemporary Romance. A college girl and a rockstar. Think you've read something like it before? Think again. This is one heck of a ride!
The second story is, one again, a NA Dark Romantic Fantasy. This one features Vampires. In fact it's the story that pushed me to write the Sachael books. I'm thinking on a new title for this, and unfortunately it may not get my attention this year as there is more than enough to do with everything else I'm already committed to.
I'm currently editing Sachael Delusions, the third book in the Mine Series, as well as pushing on with Iniquity. It's more than enough to concentrate on at the moment.
So, back to my books that are available and out there for you to read. Sachael Dreams, and Sachael Desires are available on ebook/kindle on Amazon and as signed paperbacks from me (email Melodywinterbooks@gmail.com to start the ball rolling on cost and postage)
If you've read the books and want to chat to me about them, drop me a line--I'm usually easy to find hanging around on twitter or facebook.
Thank you for your support this year, and I hope you continue to keep in touch with me and what I'm doing.
Sachael Desires is now available to the whole wide world. The second book in the Mine series was released slightly later than planned, but only by one day. It was a crazy weekend before release, not least for my editor, Kisa Whipkey. I think we both survived on a couple of hours sleep between us.
But it's here! And it's available for you to buy on amazon and from my publishers, Reuts Publications. The links are below if you want to get it delivered direct to your kindle.
Also, between now and Friday 4th December, Sachael Dreams is FREE on kindle. The links are below. (Please check the price before you purchase.)
And just to add to the general party atmosphere that's following me around at the moment, there is a giveaway running to celebrate the release of Sachael Desires. Fancy winning 12 e-books and a £20/$20 amazon gift voucher? Enter below. This runs until 24th December, so plenty of time.
I have a feeling there may be many more updates throughout November but this first one brings about an air of excitement and general screaming from me.
The cover of Sachael Desires is out there in the big wide world, and isn't it gorgeous?
Here is the blurb for those of you eagerly anticipating the release:
During her ordeal with the Sect, Estelle Bailey dreamt of escaping back into the arms of the sea—and Azariah. But freedom came at a price, and though she’s back with the Sachael who’s stolen her heart, she’s also land-bound until the next full moon. And with the threat of Orontes looming ever larger behind them, Azariah, Estelle, and Michael—her once-captor turned rescuer and friend—are on the run.
Following Michael’s lead, they seek sanctuary amidst the natural beauty of the Orkney and Shetland Islands until Estelle can complete her next submergence ritual and Azariah can whisk her away to the safety of Saicean.
Secrets, betrayals, and old enemies await them, though, and as events spiral out of control, Azariah makes a decision that puts all their lives at risk, forcing Estelle to face a journey she never wanted to take. With time running out and tempers running high, her only hope to save the man she loves lies in a reconciliation between two kingdoms who despise each other.
Book Two in the Mine Series, Sachael Desires further expands on the intricate underwater world of the Sachaels, and the hostility and isolation of not belonging.
And as a sneak peek, here is the provisional wrap-around:
There is currently a giveaway on Goodreads for one lucky winner to win a signed copy of Sachael Desires and the full swag pack. This runs right until the day before release on the 24th November.
Here's the link if you want to enter: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY LINK FOR SACHAEL DESIRES
There's also a release 'day' party on the evening of 24th November between 19:00 and 20:00 GMT. I'd love to see you there, have a drink with you and share the jolly atmosphere that we had for the release of Sachael Dreams. There will be giveaways throughout the evening and I'll be posting sneak peeks at the prizes up for grabs during now and the start of the party. If you want an invite just message me through twitter @melodywinter, or on facebook, or contact me through the form on this site. I'm easy to find.
Click on the link here for details: FACEBOOK RELEASE DAY PARTY FOR SACHAEL DESIRES
That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more news and further giveaways.
Things are getting slightly crazy here, but it's a nice kind of crazy!
Sachael Desires, the second book in the 'Mine' series is due to be released 5 weeks today! The cover reveal is next week, and seriously, this cover is AMAZING!!!!!!
I am planning a facebook party and would love to see some new faces pop up during the two/three hours of general drinking, laughing and hilarity. Invite a friend, have a party--I think a few of you did last time judging by some of the comments!
I'll also be selling signed books and swag packs, so if you would like one, please get in touch and I'll try to get them to you before Christmas.
In other news, I attended a book signing last weekend in Malton as part of the Ryedale Book Festival(last minute so didn't get the chance to let anyone know - sorry) I had a great time and met some lovely people. Unfortunately, I also ran out of books to sell!
And as soon as I returned from Malton I was on my way to Manchester to see my friend, Ben Montague, perform a date on his Runaway Tour. He made me cry when he dedicated 'Love like Stars' to me during the gig. He knows it fits Sachael Dreams perfectly. He now has a signed book in his hands and was very excited about reading it. (How many hugs???)
This month also saw me finishing the first draft of Iniquity, my New Adult, Dark, Romantic Fantasy. I already have a wonderful group of CP's and an incredibly excited development editor waiting to get their hands on this, but they will have to wait a little longer. Iniquity is now locked away so I can concentrate on Sachael Desires, and have a break from Athena and Erebus and all the other wonderful cast of characters waiting to meet you all.
I've recently made decisions about the characters in the Mine series and I'll be releasing 7 e-books connected to the series. Each one will feature a different character and a defining moment(s) in their life. See their side of the story, get in their heads, hear their thoughts. Again, more information on this will be given when I crawl out the other side of promoting Sachael Desires.
Speak to you soon, and pop back next week to see the cover of Sachael Desires!
Love Melody xxxx
Yes, the season has begun here in Yorkshire. The temperature has dropped several degrees and the mornings have that definite chill about them. I love this time of year once I get my body thermostat sorted. It's not cold enough for my thick jumpers, so the layering begins, One minutes too hot, the next too cold :)
Autumn signifies a couple of things for me. Firstly, my yearly trip to Ravenscar. Once again I'll be walking in Estelle's footsteps and immersing myself in the peace and tranquillity of this amazing place. And this year, I'll be treated to another full moon whilst I'm there. Maybe I'll look for a Sachael this time.
Secondly, the release of Sachael Desires, the second book in the Mine series is due for release in 2 months time, (November 2015) I'm busy sorting the 7 character postcards for this book, and also finding some teaser trailers so you can begin to experience the world Estelle has been thrown into. The book cover reveal will be next month, followed by lots of promo leading up to the books release. If you'd like to help spread the word in any way please contact me through the contact page and I'll get back to you.
Thirdly, the story I mentioned last time, Iniquity, is reaching it's final bulk of chapters which will see the first draft complete. This story has been my focus over the past few months and I need to lock it away to concentrate on SD2. But it shall be back and ready to go to my trusted CP's sometime in the new year.
And just to round everything up, I will be at a signing event next year--March 5th, 2016 in Leeds at the Marriott Hotel. There will be over 60 authors there and it is a ticket only event. If you fancy coming along to meet me or any of the other authors then please follow this link. Tickets for Leeds It'll be great to see you!
Like most people, I'm always juggling many things. For me it's work, family, home, and over the last few years, my writing. Now, it doesn't seem like a lot, and compared to other peoples lists it probably isn't, but when you have a story in your head, a nagging, insistent voice that refuses to shut up, there are not enough hours in a day to get those ideas written down when all the other parts of life are happening. THIS is how my life has been for the last few months. Not only that, I've been struggling with a few health issues as well and my energy completely upped and left me during the last month. I'm now feeling a lot better and the nagging voices are quietening down because I got that story written--well over half of it.
I always promised myself I wouldn't start to write another novel until I'd finished drafting the final book in the Mine Series, but as you can see from what I've written above, this plan was well and truly shot to pieces. The voices demanding I pay attention were ones from my planned 'next' novel, INIQUITY, a dark New Adult romantic fantasy. The first of a two book series called The Ascent Series) I've created a new page for INIQUITY and if you're interested in seeing a little more about it then you can read the first 100 words here: INIQUITY--first100 words.
My plan is to finish writing the first draft of INIQUITY and then head back into finishing the 4th book in the Mine Series, SACHAEL DESTINY. With amazing and exciting book cover ideas for SACHAEL DESIRES, the next book in the series released November 2015, coming through from REUTS it won't be long before I'm busy editing and planning for its release.
So, as I deal with 7 weeks of school holidays for my two boys, and no 'dedicated' writing time, please excuse me whilst I snatch an odd 5 minutes here and there to continue writing my words.
Until next time, take care - and I leave you with Erebus,
Love Melody xxx
I've been very lucky to have several really nice reviews, from people who've read Sachael Dreams, posted across amazon and Goodreads. I've also had one or two reviews that didn't seem to 'get' Sachael Dreams. And you know what? That's fine. The majority of people reading it are enjoying it and that's what's important. Many people don't review, instead I get feedback. I've had feedback from friends of friends, people that don't know about me apart from my book, and e-mails from people I don't know telling me how much they enjoyed reading Estelle's story. And those little e-mails, those words of encouragement and even praise are worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears that came with writing and publishing Sachael Dreams.
But, reviews do matter. These days there is a lot of attention given to those shiny stars that readers chose to give to an authors crazy world or words. A few lines summing up 'what you loved and why' are all that's needed. It doesn't have to be a novel in its own right. Reviews are seen by other readers, they encourage them to either pick up the book, or not. Reviews are seen by others in the industry ie publishers, agents, film industries, TV companies. And that's why you see so many authors asking for them. Reviews open up a world of possibilities and 'what ifs'.
Even though your words encourage me and make me smile as though I'd just been handed the biggest chocolate cake in the world, a review would be like the chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream on top of the biggest chocolate cake in the world.
So, as an opportunity for all of you lovely people who are signed up as members of my site, I am offering you the chance to read and then review Sachael Dreams for FREE!
This offer is only available to members, so if you are interested, please drop me a line through the 'contact me' page, or contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And just in case you wondered what exactly you were missing - here is a fabulous review with GIFs posted on Goodreads (and on amazon without gifs) provided by the lovely Ash!!!
How I felt when I discovered Sachael Dreams, a NA novel featuring alluring angels of the oceans, masters of seduction:
I WANTED it. I've been DYING for a fresh underwater tale, one with better world building, better character development, better...just better than the watered down tales I've read lately. This book delivered on so many levels.
Sachael Dreams begins with a prologue featuring Lilith, a girl who is used, emotionally scarred, and abandoned by a Sachael. This scene alone evoked so many feels that when Estelle, the main character, is lured down the same path of seduction as the very unfortunate Lilith, I couldn't help but feel simultaneously on guard and curious. She's inexplicably drawn to Azariah as he is to her, or so he says, so there is a lot of this:
Actually, this is pretty much the first half of the book. So swoon, romance fans, swoon. Azariah and Estelle are pretty darn cute together. For me, it progressed a bit too quickly. I mean, the reason for such a quick and passionate reaction toward one another is explained, so I get it. There was just a little too much chuckling and smiling and petting and by "Azariah was my future," I was...
So what kept me reading?
I wanted to find out whether or not his affections were true. I NEEDED to know whether or not Estelle would wind up just like Lilith. I really liked Estelle as a character. I found her aversion to crowded places and passion for art particularly relatable. I loved reading the passages about her father's paintings and the vivid world he tried to capture on canvas.
I liked that Azariah was open and honest about how a Sachael usually treats human women, how they seduce and impregnate them only to return to steal their babies. While he's not my favorite character, he did win brownie points for his honesty.
Plus it helped that there were humorous little moments like this:
"[Azariah] was silent for a few moments before speaking. 'I have observed you for four months, at every full moon.'"
Estelle's response: "That's weird."
(Azariah and Estelle are about to perform the submergence ritual together. They are trying to keep from acting upon their desires under the full moon as Azariah is attempting to prove he doesn't want her just for coitus.)
"'Is here okay?' he asked, pulling me forward in the water so I was held in his arms.
'Perfect,' I replied, wrapping my legs around his thighs and pressing my lips to his for a quick kiss.
He raised his brow.'This will be easier to do if you do not trap me between your thighs,' he said, the twitch of a smile crossing his perfect features."
And...I knew Orontes was coming.
Orontes in a single quote: "I think he's the only person I've killed today."
I found myself feeling simultaneously excited and creeped out by this guy. He is a part of the Sect, a group hell bent on destroying as many Sachaels as possible, and he has a very special plan for Estelle, a plan she wants no part of. I flew through the second half of this book...like kept reading snippets under my desk at work LOVED the second half of this book. The fiery side of Estelle was coaxed to the surface, bringing about witty banter like:
(Estelle to a manl (hide spoiler)],who was involved in her kidnaping, when he offers to hang her father's painting in the room where she's being held prisoner.)
"Was he serious? I narrowed my eyes at him, pushing myself from the bed. 'You can stick that picture right up your--'"
Overall, Melody Winter has created a beautifully imaginative world, and I can only hope that in book 2, Estelle will actually get to travel to Saicean with Azariah, that we'll learn why/how she is what she is[ she's a Sachael (hide spoiler)]. Either way, there is one heck of a storm coming, and I'm looking forward to another fantastic read!
Sorry for the radio silence lately. I've been in my editing cave with Sachael Desires. Some of you may have heard of editing caves, others may not. It's a place that you hide in, only coming out to feed, growl, and unfortunately interact with family members--and go to work. It's stressful, worrying, but oh, so rewarding. The end of my month shut away resulted in Sachael Desires being sent to my editor's *grabby hands*. It winged its way to her on Monday night, and now all I can do is wait.
Even though I could sit back and twiddle my thumbs waiting to see what I need to do next with Sachael Desires ie small edits, major edits, deletes, additions, structure change, pace change etc I have decided not to. I am now working on an anthology submission for World Weaver Press. The anthology is called 'Frozen Fairy Tales' and will focus on a fairy tale collection set in winter. I've had an idea simmering for this for a while, but had to put it away until I'd finished the round of edits on Sachael Desires. But now, oh yes . . . I'm writing again, and boy does it feel GREAT!!!!
I like editing, I love seeing my words getting stronger, my characters getting fleshed out more, but writing is my one true love. Within all the crazy surrounding the publication of a book and then its subsequent marketing, at times the writing gets forgotten. So I'm thoroughly enjoying this 10,000 word challenge.
After I've finished the anthology submission I'll be back to The Mine Series. Book four is well underway, and is where all the previous books will pull together. You will get all the answers . . . eventually.
Sachael Dreams is available for purchase as a e-book or paperback on Amazon and through Reuts Publications. I also have limited signed copies available--use the contact form if you are interested.
I'll leave you in the capable hands of Azariah and a teaser from Sachael Dreams.
Have a happy few weeks, and I'll speak to you soon,
I screamed, I laughed, I cried. All reactions to the arrival of my copies of SACHAEL DREAMS.
They are here! Lots and lots of beautiful books, all with the same cover, all full of the same words.
I'm hoping to get the first batch sent out later this week, so if you ordered any from me, expect an email in which I'll tell you the total cost including postage. If you ordered a book and you want to add other things to the order (the limited edition postcards, or the mermaid bookmark) please let me know: email email@example.com
Signed books are available for £11.00 plus postage, but I have limited stock so first come, first served. All those that have placed an order with me will have their order honoured, but if you haven't, please let me know as soon as possible so as not to delay receiving your copy.
On a side note, Sachael Dreams has received some lovely reviews, check them out here: SACHAEL DREAMS REVIEWS
Do you want to hold a copy of Sachael Dreams in your hands? Do you want an actual copy of this 530 page novel to adorn your bookshelves? Yes? Then your wait is nearly over.
This coming Tuesday, March 10th, will see the release of the paperback for Sachael Dreams. It will initially be available through Amazon and Reuts Publications website. I will be selling signed copies here on my website as soon as I get my delivery of the books.
I'll also be selling exclusive Sachael Dreams merchandise, including a limited seven pack of postcards, and handmade mermaid bookmarks.
Keep checking back for when these items become available.
Today see's the release of Sachael Dreams. It's an amazing feeling to see my book out there in the wide world! Only available in e-book initially at the following places, the paper-back will follow in a few weeks.
When I started my journey into the writing world, I had no idea what to expect. I never knew I'd meet such wonderful supportive people, I never dreamed of landing a publishing deal with a company that nurtured and encouraged me like REUTS have. And I never considered how genuinely pleased and excited friends and family would prove to be.
It's been a long journey, and there's still a frighteningly long way to go until the series ends, but for now, I want to thank every single one of you for your interest and support in my writing world.
As a treat - here's a look at the stunning trailer that was created for Sachael Dreams by REUTS Publications.
How amazing is the book cover for Sachael Dreams? Ashley Ruggirello at REUTS Publications has created an amazing interpretation of my story. It sets the mood perfectly--dreamy, seductive and mysterious--all qualities I hope to convey to readers as they read.
Here's the blurb:
Twenty-two-year-old Estelle Bailey has had enough of busy city-life and her hot-tempered ex. She escapes to the seclusion and peace of her family’s cliff-top home in Ravenscar, where the soothing solitude whispers to her soul as strongly as the sea itself does. But her newfound contentment is interrupted when a mysterious man—a Sachael, master of seduction—joins her midnight swim unexpectedly.
Estelle struggles against his charm and the overpowering attraction she feels for him. He offers her a life she never could have imagined, a life beneath the waves . . . but at what cost? Before she can decide, she’s captured, ensnared by the Sect, a secret enemy of the Sachaels, becoming a pawn in a war she knew nothing about.
Now, she’s left with a new choice—escape the clutches of the Sect and flee into the ocean, or side with her alluring, intimidating captor and destroy the Sachaels forever. Can she turn her back on the man she might love, or will the secret of her heritage change everything?
Set against a picturesque backdrop, Sachael Dreams is the first in a new series, exploring themes of romance, love, and identity, and the struggle that happens when all three collide.
SACHAEL DREAMS is due to be released on 24th February 2015 and I will be holding a facebook party in the evening between 7-9pm GMT. There will be lots of chat and exclusive giveaways--invites will be going out soon and a link will be posted here, on my website and on twitter, so look out for it if you want to join in!
The release date for SACHAEL DREAMS is 24th February, 2015 and if you want to reserve a copy of SACHAEL DREAMS at a slightly discounted price then head over to the REUTS website where they are taking pre-orders for the ebook: SACHAELDREAMS PRE-ORDER
I'll be adding a store to this site over the next few weeks--filling it with Sachael Dreams goodies as well as signed paperback copies of the book when they become available.