Archive for the ‘Many Things’ Category

GHOSTLY ACTS Goes AUDIOBOOK

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

 

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

 

Melinda’s Magical Time-In Her Playroom (not an office.)

Friday, September 28th, 2018

This is a picture of my playroom where I’m spending happy creative time since The Wild Rose Press contracted the outrageously fun first book of my Dark Inclinations series, BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire. The book’s due to my editor mid-October and will be a Wild Rose Press Black Rose line release in eBook, paperback and audio.

Speaking of audio, while I’m getting up to dark fun and games with my menopausal vampire in the Seattle underworld, both of my YA ghost stories are in audiobook production. The GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook will have exciting production effects and music that will make listening to the story a great immersive experience. THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON’s narrator sounds just like the Josh of my imagination. How lucky is that!!

Heigh ho, heigh ho! Mmmmm’s off to play with the menopausal vampire!

Melinda Sells Out at PNWA!

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Melinda Sells Out!

I’m a longtime member of Pacific Northwest Writers Association. PNWA is one of the largest regional writers organizations, and over five hundred writers attended the annual conference last week. This year’s literary  contest had a thousand entries in twelve categories.  I try to attend the annual conference where I serve on panels, teach workshops and hang out with talented writers. I also enter one of my new projects in the literary contest to try out the opening on reader/judges. My new YA thriller, The Boyfriend App, won a finalist award in the Romance category. It was my pleasure to meet two Wild Rose Press authors, Christine Grabowski and Kerry Blaisdale, and sit the Autograph Party with them. The picture of me behind my two award-winning YA paranormals on the left is the “selling out” I’m referring to. It was a grand party and I had an autographing good time!

FUN! Mmmmmmmmmmmmelinda

 

 

 

THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON Available Worldwide August 20, 2018–TODAY!

Monday, August 20th, 2018

 

Melinda’s new multiple award-winning YA paranormal thriller, THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON, from    The Wild Rose Press is available in eBook and paperback at retailers worldwide. An audio book is coming soon!

 

Blurb After the death of his cousin and his father’s subsequent death in Afghanistan, former star athlete and gifted student, Josh Weston and his mother move to a desolate ranch in the Arizona desert. Josh blames himself for his father’s death and for the shooting of his best friend. Besides giving up on everything he used be great at, he is relentlessly bullied at his new school.Unable to see any way out of his problems, he tries to end it all one moonlit night. Two of the mystical ranch’s ghosts stop him and pull him into dangerous tests of courage and intellect. Josh must learn to draw on his strengths and confront the haunted past that threatens his life and possible future with the beautiful and daring girl next door.

Reviews

Rated: 5 STARS

 “Magical and moving. The Haunting of Josh Weston by Melinda Rucker Haynes is a powerful YA paranormal tale that offers lots of emotional insights and a message of hope to anyone who is suffering insecurities and bad memories. The action is quick-paced as the tension between Josh and the bully builds, but the relationship between Josh and Pete provides a timeless feeling and a sense of love and support that Josh’s mother just can’t provide by herself. With a subtle romantic element, there is just the right balance between the paranormal and the everyday to make the story quite believable and uplifting. Excellent story – kept me glued to the pages! The Haunting of Josh Weston is certainly well worth reading.

 Melinda Hill, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

Rated: 5 STARS

“Move over, Harry Potter, there’s a new kid in town—Josh Weston. In the tradition of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, author Melinda Rucker Haynes taps into every kid’s nightmare (bullies who make life hell) and fantasy (making sure they get their due). The reader wants to shout ‘hurray’ at the end of the book. Issues relevant to today’s teen—death, divorce, relocation—are handled in a sensitive manner, validating the feelings of isolation, guilt, and despair. The old prospector, who appears and disappears mysteriously, adds levity while dispensing wisdom. The preaching is left to Mom, who understands better than Josh can imagine. It’s easy to see why this book has twice been nominated Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist for Best Young Adult novel.”

Diane Burton, Scribes World Reviews

Rated: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ages 8-100!

“ … a twice-nominated RWA Golden Heart Award Finalist for Best Young Adult … full of danger, excitement, ghosts, and some trials of a young boy turning into a young man, the hard way.”

Détra Fitch, HUNTRESS BOOK REVIEWS

 

Mmmmmmmelinda Reveals Real Interests and Hobbies in a New Social Media Bio

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Before becoming a multiple award-winning, best-selling fiction author, Melinda Rucker Haynes worked as an adult education research project director and published nonfiction. She jokes she learned to write fiction as a grant writer who moonlighted as a corporate trainer of fascinating people working at an area in the Nevada desert that didn’t exist. After gypsying around the world, living in four foreign countries—most recently Washington D.C.—Melinda continues to search out enchanted stories beyond her imaginary magical story pool in ghost towns, massive cities, vast night skies, and mysterious ancient sites throughout the world. Her interests and hobbies include magical story pool fishing and encouraging her citrus trees, fairy gardens, and fellow magical thinking enthusiasts. Melinda also enjoys frequent fantasy flying, past lives exploration and opus magnum experimentation.

 Her young adult paranormal novels, Ghostly Acts and The Haunting of Josh Weston (Escondido Magic Series) are multiple award winners as is her paranormal romance thriller, The Eternal Trust, the first book of the Soul Searchers Series for The Wild Rose Press. Melinda is currently working on her new and already award-winning YA paranormal, The Boyfriend App, and Josh Weston’s second adventure in the Escondido Magic Series, coming in 2019. The second Soul Searchers book, Breach of Trust is also 2019 release. A menopausal vampire has been doing hot laps in Melinda’s magical story pool and her tale, BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire is coming soon.


Ain’t it just, Mmmmmmmmmmmmelinda

GHOSTLY ACTS A Movie?

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

GHOSTLY ACTS could be a movie,” people say when they read my YA paranormal novel set in the ghost capital of Montana, Virginia City. That’s how I saw the book as I wrote it—like a movie. The many times I strolled the old ghost town, from Boot Hill through the streets and past the courthouse, it was as if the spirits of the evil Plummer gang and the Vigilantes were reenacting their thrilling history just for me. Storyteller that I am, I knew this very alive old ghost town was just the place to maroon a crazy Seattle family in an old derelict theatre and let the ghosts tell the shivery fun tale.

Check out Virginia City, Montana online and my fun take take on the ghost town, GHOSTLY ACTS, at Amazon and bookstores worldwide. There’s an audio book coming soon!

Mmmmmmmmmmelinda

A Watery Parable

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Our Tucson yard is often full of wildlife, mostly birds and lizards, but we do get the occasional bobcat wandering through the place, as well as troupes of Javalina parading outside the north wall. We call them pigs, of course they are not porcine but wild peccary that love to dance quite noisily under a full moon beneath the guestroom window. I’ve been noticing a new addition to our livestock—a very cute chipmunk that dashes about. A couple of days ago I discovered a hole under the brick fire pit at the back patio and knew that something had moved in. This morning I opened the living room slider and saw said chipmunk playing at the base of the fire pit. Ah ha, the new resident confirmed. I opened the screen. Chipmunk freaked and made frantic blind dash straight into the pool in a splashy belly flop. I dropped the rugs I was carrying and ran to get the short-handled scoop net to fish out the chipmunk, but he was struggling for his life in the middle of the pool. I sprinted to the side yard, pulled the 10-foot net pole off the wall, and back to the pool. Poor terrified chipmunk was about done when I dipped the net under him. In my excitement I flipped him out a foot or so above the cool decking. He lay stunned on his belly, legs spread wide like a flying squirrel, and completely soaked. I retreated into the house to give him some recovery space since I felt responsible for his mad dash in the first place. In a couple of minutes, chipmunk regained himself and zipped away into the side yard.

This Watery Parable is summed up thus: You never know when the thing you’re afraid of and running from will scoop your drowning ass out of the pool.

Mmmmmmmmelinda

The Story Behind the Story

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

The Story . . .

Ever wondered what a teen queen would do if she were forced to leave her perfect life in Seattle for the ghost capital of Montana where her parents intend to live their dream instead of hers? Ele O’Neill lets everyone feel her pain about living in a haunted theatre without phone or wifi. But a cowboy ghost is determined she behave like a proper young lady until all hell breaks loose and Ele learns first love can be wonderfully thrilling but extremely dangerous, especially with a ghost.

My new book with The Wild Rose Press, GHOSTLY ACTS, a multiple award-winning paranormal YA romantic thriller, is available at fine retailers worldwide in eBook and paperback TODAY June 6, 2018. An audiobook edition is coming soon.

 

Story Behind the Story . . .

Every story I write begins in my dreams, imaginings, and often reflects some facet of my experience. The setting of my story GHOSTLY ACTS was inspired by my husband, who grew up in Montana and whose ancestor rode with the Vigilantes of Virginia City. We visited the Ghost Capitol of Montana where I researched the history of the Vigilantes and the Innocents gang. Story bones began their skeleton dance. But no one interestingly motivated emerged to tell this story.

My son was a successful AP junior in high school, on the swim and water polo teams, worked as a lifeguard and, as a working actor since he was six-years-old, active in school and community drama productions. Mid-year my husband was transferred and we moved to the new job location. My son knew no one at his new school and spent all his free time driving sixty-five miles one way back to his old school and friends. There had to be a better answer to this family problem that would keep our boy off I-5! Our son’s solution was to graduate the new high school with honors a year early and, as a seventeen-year-old, matriculate at Montana State University. A motivated storyteller had emerged . . .

One demand that my son has always had is–don’t put me in your stories. So, to find another storyteller I started the What If Speculations. I didn’t have to look far as my extended family has been blessed with a smart, athletic, kind, talented young woman with megawatt star power. I wondered if such a teen queen suddenly had to move from her kingdom to the Ghost Capitol of Montana so her parents could live their dream, and was without friends,  academic stimulation, family support focus, and in her case, no tennis, how would she act? What would she do especially if there were real ghosts haunting her and her family?

Wow! Did I put Miss Electra (Ele) O’Neill through hell! I’m not sorry and I don’t believe Ele is sorry either. She stepped up with solutions–most unusual ones–to her problems many, except for one: is there any real future in loving a ghost?

It’s all fun!

MMMMMMmmmmmmmmelinda

WELCOME to MELINDARUCKERHAYNES.COM

Friday, June 1st, 2018

 

We’ve been busy here at MELINDARUCKERHAYNES.COM for the past few weeks in re-design. While I’ve been in edits with my two new paranormal YA thrillers for The Wild Rose Press my webmistress Stacy Chitwood has been working her magic here on the site. I especially love our new rotating headers of illuminated photographs that I took at the Japanese Gardens in Seattle and at Lake Powell, Arizona last fall. Keep watching for new additions to the rotation.

Please check out Mmmmm for my personal story that’s undergoing constant replotting and rewrites. Click on GALLERY for a retrospective of past book covers and other interesting and some quite strange pictures. You’ll find fun MMMMVIDEOS there, too. The BOOKS page features my backlist novels and new books, with links to their pages which contain lots of info, reviews, plus the Story Behind the Story–what inspired me to write the book. GoodWordy is a page/website under continuing development for my nonfiction projects and creative development tools and processes.

NEW    NEW    NEW    NEW    NEW

I’m thrilled to announce that my first YA Paranormal Romantic Thriller and Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award Winner, GHOSTLY ACTSis a June 6, 2018 worldwide release in paperback and eBook from The Wild Rose Press, and coming soon in audiobook. I love this fun ghost romance for all ages. Check out the book’s page for Ghostly’s Story Behind the Story and the GALLERY for a previous covers retrospective. There might be a Ghostly Acts Cover Story MMMMVIDEO, too.

AWARD-WINNING YA PARANORMAL THRILLER

AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER AT AMAZON and THE WILD ROSE PRESS

Available at Fine Retailers Worldwide in eBook and Paperback June 6, 2018

“First love can be wonderfully thrilling but extremely dangerous, especially with a ghost.”

Fighting the Urge to Nest

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

When we bought our Tucson house four years ago, the large entry courtyard was rocky dirt with a few succulents and cactus. Since the front of the house faces east to the beautiful Catalina Mountains, there was an inspiring view to reclaim. We wanted to create an inviting oasis to enjoy sunrise coffee or evening cocktails in the shade, surrounded by flowers. And we’re accomplishing that.

Now that the planters’ flowers and bushes are mature and it’s Spring, the quail are determined to move in and prepare their nests in our cool, secure courtyard. They don’t seem to care about the size of the pot. They’ll simply kick everything out they can and settle in. My sister-in-law, Susan Gunn, has shared stories of raising chickens and that after they put them to bed in the evening, she and Sherm toiled in the chicken yard filling holes. This morning I found my fairy garden thoroughly excavated, soil, cottage, and fairies ejected onto the pavers. Now it seems I’m tending a chickenyard. But instead of a shovel and rake, I use stones, larger fairies, and weighty whimsical stuff to fill the prospective quail nest foundations. I had to relocate the frog pond away from the fairy garden because the quail fished the tiny resin frogs out of the pond, only to toss them onto the pavers when they discovered fake frogs weren’t very tasty.

The only pot in the courtyard the quail haven’t yet tried to terraform and move into is a kalanchoe guarded by my pet metal javelina, Pig Iron. However, perhaps one of these mornings I’ll take my coffee to the courtyard to watch the sunrise and find Pig Iron on his side on the floor. A quail couple will explode out of the yellow pot, complaining loudly, laying a dark cloud of soil behind them, only to return after the sun sets on the back garden. And there it is—Clang! Pig Iron hits the bricks, sparking the eternal question—can a dedicated fairy garden horticulturist win against live quails’ urge to nest? Or can she reach detente with both flora and fauna, real and imagined, and declare peace in our garden? Perhaps we’re getting there, if this happy little garden is any indication . . . .