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Thursday, 25 July 2019

GHOSTLY ACTS–The Story Behind the Story

 

PROLOGUE    Long ago and far away at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City, I sat at a table up front with my pal Darcy Carson in a huge convention hall at the Romance Writers of America annual RITA awards. The ceremony to name the winners of the Golden Heart Contest for unpublished RWA members was about to begin. My first book, GHOSTLY ACTS, well, the first forty or so pages, was a finalist in the Young Adult category.

FLASHBACK   It had been a very busy few days in the Big Apple. Both of my critique groups were in attendance and we hung out in the halls between conference sessions, partied, sight-saw, and crashed publishers’ parties for their authors. Then wonder of wonders, an acquiring editor of the YA line from a very big house approached and invited me to dinner. She told me to also invite other YA finalists. I had met three and promptly invited them. We met the editor at a great Italian restaurant and had a wonderful time. The editor spent most of the evening to talking to me about YA, her line and my book. She whispered, “I liked yours best.” Sometimes I’m a little obtuse or miss the nuances. I should have paid attention and that would have saved me a disastrous Tarot reading that all but spelled the end of the world as we knew it and a very dejected afternoon.

THE MAIN EVENT   Press play on the video below and discover what happened at the ceremony . . .

EPILOGUE  My fifteen minutes of fame lasted somewhat longer, a bit of patchwork quilt situation. The editor who took me to dinner asked me to give her two and half months before she could acquire GHOSTLY ACTS for her line. Good thing too because I needed to finish that book. Three months came and went with her YA line closing. I didn’t sell that book until four years later but continued to do well in contests. After the book was published it won more awards. The Wild Rose Press published GHOSTLY ACTS in 2018 in eBook, paperback and audiobook.

Who knows what’s next for this wonderful story. I’m thinking movie and/or TV series . . .

Mmmmmmmmelinda

 

 

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Meet THE ETERNAL TRUST Audiobook Narrator

 

 

The audiobook of my award-winning paranormal romantic thriller, THE ETERNAL TRUST dropped this week and I’m so excited to introduce you to the best voice actor I’ve ever heard, Damien Alameda. He’s made a vid talking about his experience recording the book and it also has a great audio sample from the book. Check it out!

I love to listen to this guy! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmelinda

Monday, 15 July 2019

The Menopausal Vampire’s Breakfast Drink Recipe

I’ve been getting lots of email with questions about Bitten: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire. People want to know if I have personal experience with the “issues” of Kristen Ottiosman the Menopausal Vampire. Maybe. Here and there. Am I a blood sucker? Don’t think so. Kristen would say–“I don’t do that anymore!” I say–“I never have been a blood sucker, menopausal, yes, but not the other thing–I’d remember that.”

Many readers seem to think Kristen’s lifestyle choices are either too bizarre or too cool, the Menopausal Vampire’s dietary, make that drinking, habits landing in the cool column. They are particularly interested in her morning beverage of Dirty Shamus and have asked for the recipe. So here it is.

Menopausal Vampire’s Breakfast Drink

Dirty Shamus Breakfast Drink Recipe:

1 large bottle of Irish Crème Liquor

1 bottle Bailey’s Salted Caramel Liquor

Brewed Dark Roast Coffee

Directions: Pour both bottles of Irish Crème and Bailey’s Salted Caramel into a decanter to make Dirty Shamus. Fill a big coffee cup with Dirty Shamus and add coffee to taste.

Mmmmmmmmmmelinda

 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire Chosen for Publishers Weekly BookLife “Best First Line”

From: May 27, 2019 Publishers Weekly BookLife

Section: First Lines–A monthly look at some of the best first lines by BookLife authors.

 

 

BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire

MELINDA RUCKER HAYNES

BookLife Best First Line from BITTEN:  “Waking up alone was no surprise.”

 

 

Undead in Seattle. Kristen’s fiancé Rick turns into Houdini and pulls a disappearing act. Now years later her husband deserts her for a younger woman. Disgusted with life itself, menopausal to boot, she doesn’t know what to do when Rick turns up—still young and handsome. Against her better judgment, but with her hormones going haywire, she accepts a date, and finds herself waking up in the morgue as an illegally made vampire.

Rick must hide his mistake or everyone dies. But Kristen refuses to go quietly undead into the dark, because her age, lack of estrogen and other physical and mental anomalies make her a very unusual powerful vampire with none of the limitations. And she has a bucket list a mile long of people who have done her wrong, and an eternity for payback.

Get BITTEN at Amazon.com and other online retailers.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

NEW AUDIO BOOK Coming Summer 2019

 

Award-winning paranormal romantic suspense narrated by Damien Alameda

 

The Eternal Trust, Book One of my reincarnation romantic suspense trilogy, is currently in audio book production with the fabulous narrator/voice actor, Damien Alameda, who is brilliantly voicing this great story . . .

THE ETERNAL TRUST by Melinda Rucker Haynes       The love of a soulmate can be the death of you, again and again. Dorel Everly receives a legacy from her grandfather—a beautiful and beguiling samurai sword that brings the man she’s been waiting for and inescapable danger into her life. Michael Gabrielli, airline pilot and former military special ops psychic spy, is searching for an ancient samurai sword that bestows vast power upon the owner. Dorel’s sword. He wants it and her. As Michael comes under the sword’s ancient spell, it could mean the death of both of them. Again.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Shocking Interview with the Menopausal Vampire

The Menopausal Vampire was interviewed on her birth/undeath day March 13, 2019 by the wonderful fantasy romance author Mary Morgan. I’ve taken the liberty of further interviewing the Menopausal Vampire, post book debut, for clarification. Her responses to my questions are in parentheses and are unedited, straight from the Menopausal Vampire’s smart mouth.

 

MaryM:     What is your full name?

Kristen: Kristen Nielsen Ottiosman. (I’d like to explain the odd last name as my creator, Melinda Rucker Haynes, not my Maker, couldn’t make up her mind about my ex-husband’s last name. To her mind, a character’s name is symbolic of the character’s inner landscape or soul. I don’t know about that, but what I really believe is that she’s inflicted me with men, or her words–composite character types, she’s known. So she made up the name from the word OTIOSE: futile, ineffectual, useless. Gotta say that word really describes Billy Ottiosman, my soon-to-be ex-husband.)

MaryM:   What is one word that best describes you?

Kristen: Undead/Menopausal (Pretty much the same thing, IMO.)

MaryM:      Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? If not, please explain why.

Kristen: She thinks so, and I find that hilarious. (I think she’s really writing about herself–HA!)

MaryM:      What makes you laugh out loud?

Kristen:  A certain former love-of-my-life, now international corporate vampire, who thinks he can fly back into my life, buy me dinner then suck me dry and dump my body at the morgue. He is so not enjoying what I’m becoming. Payback is a bitch for those on the receiving end. And getting payback is my reason for living, or un-living, these days.

MaryM:  What makes you angry?

Kristen: See Number Four above.

MaryM: What is your favorite drink?

Kristen: It’s sure not the Red Juicy anymore. In fact, I’ve gotten kind of phobic. My favorite drink lately is anything liquid alcoholic. Dirty Shamus Irish Cream in great coffee is more than just my breakfast drink—I am a Seattleite, after all. (Mmmmelinda says she’s going to do a video on how to make Dirty Shamus. Should be fun!)

MaryM: What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: I’ll have to think about that one. . .I’m afraid my vampire powers will disappear before I can really enjoy them. At the rate they’re changing, or growing, seems sardonic that they could just disappear one day like my former lover who now claims he’s my master.

MaryM: What do you wear when you go to sleep at night?

Kristen: My dancing-cat-patterned flannel pajamas. Old habits die hard, even in undeath.

MaryM: What is the perfect romantic date?

Kristen: My perfect romantic date is one that I actually have and after which I’m not left for dead at the morgue.

MaryM: When you look at your master Rick what catches your interest?

Kristen: He’s so beautiful, handsome, sexy and undead. Unfortunately, he wants me really dead. I don’t know that we can ever work that out.

MaryM: What is one word that best describes Master Rick?

Kristen: I cannot say that here.

MaryM: Is your book part of a series?

Kristen: Now that I’m undead the confessions will be ongoing if my lust for payback is any indication.

 

MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmelinda: Check back for my how-to video on making Dirty Shamus Irish Crème and more inside info on the Menopausal Vampire’s latest atrocious frolics. Oh, she also tells me she wants to take questions from her readers and that she is willing to tell their fortunes. Groan. You may email Mmmmmmelinda with your questions for the Menopausal Vampire.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Mmmelinda’s NEW “Fierce and Funny” Novel

Bitten: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire

 

Get BITTEN at Amazon.com and other fine online retailers

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Christmas Movie Magic

Long ago and far away at the famous Pinewood Studios in England, my six-year-old son, Gregory, won a part as a “flying boy” in Santa Claus: The Movie. I was also hired has his chaperone or wrangler in movie-making terms. I was surprised that my son taken himself into the auditions held at his American School outside of London. When I asked why, he said he thought it would be fun. Me, too. And easy, since from the time he was four-years-old, my darling little redhead modeled for Seattle department stores and took direction really well. What he didn’t tell me was that he thought he was going to meet Santa Claus on the movie set.

In the movie, a runaway elf created magic lollipops from the sparkling dust that made Santa’s reindeer fly. Children who ate the lollies flew, too. Before we started rehearsal, Gregory had to take lessons with the famous flying unit that had done the Superman movies. We were both excited when they strapped him in the harness, attached the wires at either side of his waist, and the stagehands hoisted him. His little body instantly zipped up fifteen feet in the air and tumbled head over toes, round and round. When they lowered him to the floor, the screaming stopped. Despite the flying unit’s adjustments and coaching, Greg proved to be too small to find his center and not spin on the wires. But he wanted to continue to try to learn to fly. Of course, I discovered later that he believed he had to fly in order to meet Santa Claus.

 Instead of torturing the boyfurther, the flying unit decided to lay Greg on his stomach at the end of an extending rod on a snorkel lift.  And with Christmas movie magic, he flew into a kitchen where he snagged a cookie from the jar his movie mom put on top of a cabinet and waved. After several takes, it was I he waved at as the director placed me on the floor at the movie mom’s feet where I wouldn’t be in the shot and could coach my flying boy. Personally, we believe it’s the best scene in the movie. If you see Santa Claus: The Movie this Christmas, be sure to watch for the darling redheaded boy flying into the kitchen to steal a cookie, but who never got to meet the jolly old elf the movie was named for. He was filming on a different soundstage at Pinewood Studios.

Happy Christmas to All!

Mmmmmmmmmmelinda

                       

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

GHOSTLY ACTS Goes AUDIOBOOK

 

The GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook isn’t an ordinary narrator reading version, it’s EXTRAORDINARY! The multiple award-winning novel is narrated by Tweet Productions in the style of a radio play with music, sound effects and voicing each character differently.

 

The Tweet Productions narrator shares how he produced the GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook:

As for how I decided to produce this book as a play. First and foremost, Melinda, you wrote it like that. MOO — Ele’s mother — is so VERY melodramatic. I think I had the most fun with her lines. I really did. She was so over the top, and when I was narrating the book, I was actually using hand gestures when I got into her character. I would purposely narrate each of her lines two or three times — just to get it right. And then, in the post production process, I upped the tempo a bit plus gave her a treble boost. This is the reason she sounds so “crisp.” This was intentional on my part.

My production efforts spring from the words you wrote, Melinda. If there’s a knock at Ele’s door, you’re going to hear that knock. If Ele is creeping up some creaky stairs, you’re going to be there with her. If she’s dancing onstage to a waltz from an old hand-cranked Victrola, you’re going to hear that. In other words, Melinda, you’re the one that created those elements, not me. I just inserted them. You have a very visual writing style (you would have done well as a TV reporter!) that creates images. That’s what radio is all about and always has been. It’s Theater of the Mind. Ghostly Acts is one big theater act from start to finish. . .those last few chapters took an entire day — ten hours of work — to fully produce.

I can’t say enough about the musicians and composers who are throwing their work online for anyone and everyone to use. They are just amazing. It’s the same thing with people who create sound effects. Although I created many of the effects that are in the book, some were grabbed from one free source or another and modified to fit the novel. The scene where Club Foot, for example, drags his foot across the floor when he smashes through a wall? That’s actually a heart beat sound effect that I modified a great deal to sound like a Club Foot being dragged across the floor. You can create all kinds of magic with digital editing programs. The narration was recorded with a Yeti USB microphone — the first time I’ve used this. Some of the sound effects were also created with the Yeti. Some were created with just an iPhone, but then heavily modified (produced) through the Audacity audio editor.

I think I liked producing the chapter where Ele is dancing with Steven the most. It was so very visual. I even found the “tick-bump-tick” of an old Victrola online. Of course, I used it!

Bill Bird, Tweet Productions

 

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ray the Sedona Raven Recommends Spooky Fun Halloween Reads

Last Halloween when we were in Sedona, Az at The Enchantment Resort, this critter that looks like a raven explosion landed in my life. He has been sitting upon my desk in my playroom and has been known to quote Poe. He is of course recommending my two award-winning ghost stories for your reading pleasure this Halloween. GHOSTLY ACTS and THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON.

“Read these spooky fun ghost stories,” quoth Ray the Raven.