Archive for the ‘Funny Stuff’ Category

Life and Laughs of a “Facetious Little Squirt”

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

 

 

My really fun Featured Author interview, Life and Laughs of a “Facetious Little Squirt”, with Coleen M. Story is up at her wonderful website WRITING AND WELLNESS

Life and Laughs of A “Facetious Little Squirt”

by Melinda Rucker Haynes

I love to laugh so I always open with—I learned to write fiction when I was a grant writer.

In that reality, we also used to joke that grant proposals were judged by the weight. Therefore, repetitive and wordy details, explanations, descriptions, and narratives (much like this sentence) were essential structure for a winning proposal.

Another happy thing about my grant writing was that all my education research grant proposals won funding. Ah, the stimulating life of living on soft money! So, my expectations were quite high when I escaped academe to live abroad and write novels.

Note: It was an envious Ph.D. pedant who snarked from his teetering, terminally unfunded ivory tower that I was a Facetious Little Squirt. And I’ve endeavored to happily embrace my squirtness since.  (Click Here for Full Article)

 

Need A Vacation? Start Here!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

 

Hey, enough with this Staycation we’ve all got going on. What we need is a real vacation or the next best thing–a great story to sweep us into fun in the sun, romance, adventure and a great time with sparkling, witty, sexy and even some dangerous people who just might be trying to kill us.

My new romantic suspense novel, A BUSINESS AFFAIR, is available today in eBook and trade paperback at all online booksellers.

I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Hope you will too, Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmelinda

Publishers Weekly BookLife Review & Colorado Romance Writers Cover Contest

Monday, September 9th, 2019

 

The menopausal vampire loves getting a good review from Publishers Weekly, though she isn’t sure the reviewer actually knew the hormonal or behavioral differences between PMS and menopause, especially for this unusual vampire, who, though menopausal when BITTEN, still ain’t got no hormones–raging or otherwise. . .

 

 

THE MENOPAUSAL VAMPIRE

BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire Melinda Rucker Haynes’s “quirky paranormal novel introduces a snarky vampire…who never quite takes control of her life…witty as she laments her situation…Werewolves, ghosts, and riddles set up…an entertaining series.”                                Publishers Weekly BookLife/August 2019

 

If you want to have some BITTEN fun, click HERE to vote for the fantastic cover in the Colorado Romance Writers Cover Contest. Scroll down to PARANORMAL and click on BITTEN. Apparently, both Melinda K Haynes and Melinda Rucker Haynes wrote and submitted this women’s fantasy. . .

GHOSTLY ACTS–The Story Behind the Story

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

 

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

 

 

The Menopausal Vampire’s Breakfast Drink Recipe

Monday, July 15th, 2019

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

 

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

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

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.

Shocking Interview with the Menopausal Vampire

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

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.

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!

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