Tag Archives for " Melinda VanLone "

Aug 17

Things I Don’t Understand: Bags Without Straps

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts



I’ll never understand the fascination with handle-only purses. Who wants to tie up their hands holding a purse when there are other more exciting things to hold, like potential clothing purchases or glasses of wine? I mean sure, it could be used as a weapon but really how often do you need that? Much easier to sling that puppy over your shoulder or better still, cross body so it can’t be snatched away from you. I’m just saying that purse snatchers don’t usually target the cross body carrying woman (or man, for that matter). Think about it…


Aug 10

Demons and Djinn Oh My!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts



Something yummy this way comes! For a limited time, the Demons and Djinn box set is available for 99 cents! Yes, Stronger Than Magic is included, which I know you’ve all read…right? But if you liked that, you’ll love these too. And you can’t beat 99 cents! Find a new author, have a fun escape, all for less than a stick of gum. It’s available at all major online retailers.

Check out everything you get:


Immerse yourself in thirteen enthralling fantasy worlds by NYT and USA Today bestselling authors. Demons, djinn, and bad boys of other worlds ignite this set of action-packed urban fantasy and steamy paranormal romance. Thirteen heart-stopping stories with fierce and feisty heroines, diabolic intrigue, romance, adventure, danger, and mystery … Passionate heroes, magic and mayhem abound. Ignite your imagination and your heart, download this collection before it’s gone!

Chosen ~ Christine Pope When a fatal fever nearly wipes out the entire world’s population, the survivors of what became known as “the Dying” believe the worst is in the past. Little do they know….

Three Wishes ~ Debra Dunbar A malevolent djinn, a cyber-crime, an angel with a mission, and a demon who just wants to have fun. Be careful what you wish for.

Marked by Temptation ~ Deanna Chase When sex witch Mati Ballintine meets the sexy Vaughn Paxton, their hot one-night stand changes his life forever and threatens hers.

Jinn’s Wish ~ Marie Hall Paz and Jinni only wanted one thing in life. To find their soulmate. Too bad they found each other on a doomed flight across the Atlantic. Trapped in magically induced coma, there’s only one way for them to return to the land of the living, and that’s to trust in a love that defies all logic and reason before the final grain of sand drops and they lose each other forever.

Sacrifice Me: the Complete First Season Sarra Cannon On her twenty-first birthday, Franki Smith receives a dozen black roses and an invitation to a mysterious nightclub. The dark gift leads Franki to the doorway of a strange and glamorous new world, where forbidden romance and dangerous truths await.

I Bring the Fire Part One (A Loki Story) ~ C. Gockel Amy Lewis is being pursued by a very bad wolf. Can Loki, God of Mischief and Chaos, save her…or even save himself?

Secrets ~ Liz Shulte While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, a world of demons, angels, jinn, and guardians watched her, waited for her to change everything.

A Spirited Manor ~ Kate Danley A séance unleashes something sinister in this gothic penny dreadful. Will widow Clara O’Hare and dashing medium Wesley Lowenherz be able to stop it?

Xoe ~ Sara C. Roethe Fighting to save her best friend from a psychotic werewolf, Xoe has to make peace with her unique heritage…and resist an alluring vampire.

The Noru ~ Lola St Vil A half demon/half angel with a dark past abandons the angel world. When the only girl he has ever loved is hunted by a relentless, powerful new evil, he is forced to return.

Stronger Than Magic ~ Melinda VanLone Tarian Xannon fights demons like the rest of us. This time, the demon just happens to be real.

Beyond the Veil ~ Pippa DaCosta Muse must decide whether to trust a Prince of Hell, or the assassin sent to kill her. Little do they know, she’s more dangerous than both.

Death’s Hand ~ SM Reine  Elise Kavanagh doesn’t want to hunt demons anymore. But when the daughter of a coven member has been possessed, Elise is the only one who can help…and there may be more to this possession than just one witch’s life.


Get this fantastic deal at any major online retailer, including these:

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Aug 03

Things I Don’t Understand: Cauliflower Trends

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts


The current trend toward pretending cauliflower is a potato.

It’s not. It’s a vegetable, and a rather icky one at that. It does not now, nor will it ever, taste like a potato. If I liked cauliflower, then I’d just eat that, without the pretend. But I don’t. So I’m not going to disguise it by mashing it,  throwing butter and cheese on it, and calling it a potato. It’s still icky cauliflower, though now it’s ruined perfectly good butter and cheese.

I’ve noticed cauliflower is being used in everything from brownies (seriously?!) to biscuits (no, just no) to “potato” salad. It’s a way of going low-carb or gluten-free, and while I understand the desperation behind the experimentation, and while I do try to eat low-carb, I’d rather give up brownies or just know I’m going to consume carbs for those few delicious moments than sully the experience with a vegetable that doesn’t belong in the mix.

Cauliflower is not a pasta. It’s not a flour. It’s not bread, or cookies, or pizza dough, or anything else. It’s a white, bumpy, bland version of broccoli, which is another vegetable I don’t like at all.

Have you tried using cauliflower in place of other things? “Mac” n Cheese? The basis for chocolate cake perhaps? Why’d you try it, and did you like it? And most importantly, did you like cauliflower before you tried disguising it as a brownie?

Does it still count as a vegetable if it’s pretending to be a brownie?


Mar 20

What I’m Listening To: The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan

By Melinda VanLone | Book Review , Thoughts

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The original mass market cover.


I started reading this series a long, long time ago. Back when Jordan was still alive, and there was hope and promise that the story would reach some sort of conclusion though with every book released it was dashed, only to be sprung anew. As a huge fan, I didn’t care if it never ended. That is, until the day he died, when I realized it never really would. He did leave notes, and partially written drafts of scenes, and other things to guide those who came after. And I’m sure Brandon Sanderson and Jordan’s wife Harriet McDougal did a remarkable job finishing what Jordan started under the circumstances. I’ll find out sooner or later. But since these books are epics the likes of which George R. R. Martin only dreams about, they take awhile to read and/or listen to, and by the time you get to Book 6 or 7 it’s not uncommon to completely forget what happened in Book 2 or 3. I couldn’t just read the last few without refreshing my memories. I mean, that just wouldn’t be fair, right?

The fact is, I love the world he created, and I love the characters. I hate to give them up, and I can totally understand why he never finished the tale. How do you put an ending on the circle of life? It’s a circle! Constantly turning, constantly renewing and evolving. Always changing, always pushing forward. Plus, how do you bring an end to something you love that much? As an author, I totally get it. As a reader, I’m right there with him. I never want my favorite books to end. I’ll read them twenty times in an effort to keep the magic just awhile longer.

So to give The Wheel of Time the proper fan-girl attention, I started the series over at the beginning. I listen to them all on audio book, because the narrators being the story to life in such a delightful way, and because I can then listen while I exercise. (The same narrators read for the entire series, which is astounding to me given the sheer length of the series.)  It turns a task I find especially trying into one I can lose myself in. It works better than music, for me. I forget how long I’ve been walking, how fast, how tired or hungry, or anything, because I’m somewhere lost with Rand Al’ Thor or Egwene and Nynaeve.

If you’ve never heard of the series…I’m not entirely sure what planet you live on. But suffice to say, it’s epic fantasy, and legendary for both the length of the series, the length of the books, and the depth and breadth of the characters and plot lines. It has all the twists, and then some, of anything in Game of Thrones, but without the bloodshed to your favorite characters. Sure, there’s war and things like that, but there’s a core group guiding the adventure who remain relatively intact. At least…until the very end. Since I haven’t read the very end I can’t speak to whether they all die in the Final Battle or not. I  hope not. But having lived a lifetime with them I’ll understand if they do.

I read once that Jordan’s wife gave him input on all the female characters, which totally shows in their actions and speech. They feel like real women, not like a man would imagine a woman would be. And the men? Yep, real men. It’s all so real…with the One Power thrown about for good measure and the entire concept of the Wheel of Time itself that I find fascinating. What if it’s true? What if the world does, at some point, reset and begin anew? Oh the possibilities…

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The updated cover, for ebooks. I hate it. I wasn’t a fan of the other one either, but this…doesn’t fit the story. At. All.


But I digress. Really, I’m re-listening to all of these because it’s one of my favorite series and because it’ll keep me in exercise entertainment for a long, long time. There’s 14 epic length books in the series, each one about 10 hours of listening time, give or take. Break that down into 30 minutes segments and you can see why I’m only on Book Seven.

I can’t possibly sum up all that is The Wheel of Time. Wikipedia gives it a go, so I’ll leave the link here for you to peruse at your leisure:  Wheel of Time Background Info

If you love fantasy, and epic adventures of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, man vs woman…wait, man working with woman…wait…oh heck, both of those and more, pick this up. Start with Book One, The Eye of the World. Read them in order, because it won’t make sense if you don’t. Each builds on the other until the story is so complex you’ll need therapy to figure it all out.


Mar 16

Office Space: Before

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

This past weekend my husband and I embarked on a quest to locate the perfect chair for me to plop my rear into while working. Since I spend so much time in this room, in this chair, it’s vital that it serve me well and also be insanely comfortable. I not only work here, I play here too, since my fun time usually involves computer games like WoW. The reason for the sudden quest will be explained in the newsletter on Wednesday, so if you haven’t signed up now’s the time to do it (look up…up at the top of the screen…see that box? enter your email there to sign up). You’ll get the juicy details and an original photo illustration that won’t ever be seen on the blog. The only way to see these special works of art (created by yours truly) is to get the newsletter. So sign up 🙂 You know, if you want to. I won’t beg or anything. Really.

Since this quest consumed my life for several days I thought I’d share what my workspace looks like now, and when I get it spiffy I’ll share the after. Getting to peak at someone’s workspace is like rummaging around in their brain and seeing all the juicy bits. It says a lot about a person, how they keep their surroundings while working. I’m curious to hear what you think of mine…though in the interests of full disclosure you should know that I did tidy just a bit before I took the picture. I mean…sixteen empty Starbucks cups just doesn’t look rational no matter who you are.

So here we are, my space…before:


Yes, that’s a pillow on my chair. Again, sign up for the newsletter and hear all about it. The shiny white thing on the left is an iPad. That’s a World of Warcraft multi-button mouse, and the green glowing lights in the background on the left is a gaming keypad that helps me cast my spells faster. Yes…I’m that person. The small white electronic gadget on the right behind the Starbucks is a fake sun, because I miss the real one. That box on the right is where I toss everything I don’t want people to see but don’t feel bothered to put away properly. The papers…taxes. ugh. The handle on the one drawer in my writing table has been missing since about six months after I brought it home. The laminate is pealing and the legs are wobbly but it was only $99 brand new so I’m not complaining. It served well for many years. The chair is an Office Depot special. I hate the chair.

So there you have it! My “before” writing/designing space. Share your own! I’d love to see them. I showed you mine, after all 😉