Category Archives for "Thoughts"

Nov 07

An Interview with Jessica Therrien

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

You’ve seen a few posts here about Jessica’s series Children of the Gods. I thought you might like to know more about her, so I posed a few questions and she was kind enough to answer. Here it is, your chance to delve into the mind of a writer. Don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand…it’s not as scary as some would have you think. Or maybe it is. Let’s find out:

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started writing OPPRESSION in 2009 around the same time I accepted a boring government desk job. I needed a little creativity to balance me out. I was 24.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

This is a fun one because my job is looking after my two wild boys (ages 2.5 & 9 months). The real question is, what is my writing schedule like between the tantrums, diaper changes and running around the house pretending to be fighting Thor with a Captain America shield. The answer? It’s random. Very very random.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Maybe I’m just used to mommy chaos, but it is very hard for me to write if there is peace and quiet.

What does your family think of your writing?

They are overly supportive. I should probably pay them for their enthusiasm. They’re like my personal marketing department.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

About a million things that I never actually get to do because I’m covered in baby love. Play guitar, sew, make jewelry, scrapbook, watch movies, go to the gym, do yoga…a girl can daydream.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating these books?

After dwelling, stressing, waiting, obsessing over getting a publisher, I realized (after being traditionally published) that I actually preferred to have the control. I asked for my rights back and started my own imprint with a few author friends called Acorn Publishing. It has been an amazing experience, one I never saw coming.

Check us out at

Why do you write YA fantasy?

Because it transports me to a different world that is far more exciting than hanging out in my PJs with two little munchkins (as cute and cuddly as they may be).

Who are your favorite authors?

The obvious ones. JK Rowling & Moira Young are two of my favorite MG/YA authors. I loved WILD by Cheryl Strayed. Recently I found Kat Ross, author of SOME FINE DAY.

What are you reading right now?

TRAVELERS by Meradeth Houston


If you’d like to know more, head on over to Jessica’s place. Tell her I sent ya 🙂

Oct 20

Halloween Trick or Treat!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts



Welcome Hoppers! If this is your first stop on the Addictive Reads Halloween Favorites Blog Hop, be sure to stop by them all and be sure to click the image and register to win one of three gift cards!

It’s time for kids in cute little costumes, apple cider by the fire, candy, costume parties, spooky mazes and haunted houses! I love this time of year. I love the crisp cool air in the mornings, the way the leaves crunch under my feet, the vivid colors in the landscape, and the chance to cuddle under warm blankets with hot chocolate. Or cold chocolate, I’m not picky.

Now that we live in an apartment, I miss the kids trick or treating. No kid wants to trick or treat in an apartment building…the odds of coming out with any loot at all is pretty slim. I do make sure I have candy on hand, just in case, but usually I end up eating it all which I swear wasn’t the goal. Sometimes, I spend that night with friends who have a house in a neighborhood filled with children just so I can participate. We sit on the porch, dressed up, and giggle, tease, and joke with them and their parents. Their faces are so excited and bright, and you can tell the ones that are thrilled to have one night when their make-believe is real. I remember dressing up as Fiona one year, and the looks of awe I got from every tiny face that came by. That must be the very cool part of being a character at Disneyland, that pure joy and belief of a child. They believed I was Fiona, and for a few magical hours I was.

That, my friends, is magic in our every day world.

Another thing I love? This commercial. Makes me giggle every single time.


This Halloween, if you don’t have kids stopping by, go volunteer at a carnival or sit out on the porch at a friend’s house. Have some cider, chat, relax, and enjoy the moment. It’s one night a year…grab the magic! Oh, and if you need to hide from monsters, definitely take the running car.


Check out some of the other Hop Stops on the tour, and be sure to register to win!


1. Rhonda Hopkins: My Favorite Part of Halloween + Prizes
2. Author Stacey Joy Netzel
3. Author Tamara Ward
4. Kiru Taye Writes (INT)
5. D.D. Larsen: Halloween–Taking a Stand for the Elderly
6. What are *lizzie’s Halloween Favorites?
7. Meredith Bond
8. Fabio Bueno: Meet the Halloween Witch!
9. Kristine Cayne
10. Melinda VanLone
Oct 05

New Book Release! Uprising (Children of the Gods 2)

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts




Just wanted to give you a heads up! Jessica Therrien follows up her bestselling novel OPPRESSION with UPRISING, the second book in the Children of the Gods series. OPPRESSION, translated and sold around the world, was one of the best selling YA novels of 2012.

UPRISING continues the story of Elyse, William and the Descendants. Elyse has been in hiding for most of her life. Only now she’s hiding with William, and she knows who she’s hiding from. The Council wants a child Elyse and William have yet to conceive, a child who will be the next oracle, and who will provide the final piece to a plan Christoph has been organizing for years.

Charged with leading the rebellion against Christoph and his Council, Elyse feels well out of her depth. But she has good friends and strong allies who are willing to fight with her to the end, regardless of how far they have to go, and how many lives will be lost in the process.

They have one goal: to live freely and openly with the rest of humanity, out from under The Council’s oppressive rule. The stakes could not be higher for Elyse and the Descendants longing for freedom. They’ll have to learn to fight if they want to stand up against The Council, and to find allies in a world ruled by their enemies. The hardest part of waging a war is knowing who to trust. Elyse knows their uprising will change the world. She doesn’t realize it will change her, too.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ibooks | Kobo | Goodreads

OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1)

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s well over eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.

For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.

Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning-and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ibooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Sep 22

Gatekeeper’s Trilogy is on sale!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

Readers are calling this series, “Amazing,” “Addicting,” and “One of the best modern retelling of ancient myth.” Kirkus Reviews wrote that it’s “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans,” and Midwest Book Reviews calls it “a powerful young adult fantasy.”

A teen becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them, Thanatos, the god of death, wants his chance at love. He makes a deal with his father, Hades, but not all the gods want him to succeed.

GatekeeperBoxPart paranormal romance and part adventure story, this trilogy follows Therese’s adventures as she struggles to overcome the challenges the gods dish her in her quest to become like them.

For one week only, from September 20th to September 26th, the digital box set of The Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, usually $5.98, can be downloaded from any ebook retailer for 99 cents!

That’s three full-length novels, a total of 230,564 words, for less than a buck!

The Gatekeeper's Trilogy Promo

Get it here!

Kindle   Nook   iBooks   Google Play   Kobo   Smashword

Sep 14

Things I Don’t Understand: Hatred of Selfie Sticks

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts



I don’t get why some people are so violently opposed to people taking pictures with selfie-sticks. How is that any more or less offensive than photos taken the normal way…with one of your group always left out of the picture? Perhaps those opposed would rather you bug them to hold the camera and take the shot? Or they like it when a scammer offers to do it and then runs away with the camera? Or…what? Why is it any different than someone taking photos of everything except themselves?

Maybe they’re so angry because they’ve experienced the selfie-stick also being used as a weapon, much like I’ve seen some parents use strollers. I’ve been blocked, run into (always the shin), kicked (hard little kid shoes!), and had entire lanes of traffic backed up for miles by someone using a stroller as an “it’s all about me” card. Yet I haven’t seen the blatant hatred for them. Perhaps it’s because there might be a child in the stroller and it’s hard to hate a child, since obviously they’re captive and have no control of the situation.

Maybe there’s a gang of selfie stick wielding maniacs running rampant through tourist areas, whacking people in the head, shoving them out of the way or even sticking said stick into places it shouldn’t be. There might even be a selfie-stick fetish group. They probably have meetings where they talk about exact ways to, well, use the thing.

I haven’t actually seen anything like that but maybe I don’t hang out in the right areas. I’ve seen plenty of people taking photos, though. It’s never bothered me unless they take so long I can’t get a shot of my own. But usually people are pretty polite about such things.

Why is it suddenly offensive if I’m in the shot too, as opposed to simply taking a quick shot of the scene sans people and shuffling on? As I’m often alone, the only way I’ll ever have proof that I’ve been somewhere is if I use a selfie-stick. Why shouldn’t I do that? Perhaps I don’t matter. Perhaps they’d rather I didn’t exist. That’s the message I get when others post those “look how rude this person is” memes featuring a happy couple smiling before a selfie-stick.

I’m wondering if those so worked up about it are, perhaps, a tiny bit jealous that they don’t own one, too?


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