Tag Archives for " urban fantasy "

Sep 04

Oppression Has A New Cover!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

Just some quick news for your holiday weekend reading. Oppression, book 1 of the Children of the Gods series, has a fresh look and an awesome price! $2.99, with book 2 coming next month you’ll want to grab this one now!


OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1)

Release Date: September 2, 2015

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Series Release Dates:

UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2) – October 2, 2015

REDEMPTION (Children of the Gods #3) – November 2, 2015

 Get it here: 

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.

Feb 12

What I’m Reading – Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher

By Melinda VanLone | Book Review

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 3.42.39 PM

This week I’m immersed in the Dresden Files, an urban fantasy series by Jim Butcher.

The series has been around forever, but somehow I missed it. Or perhaps the covers just don’t catch my eye when browsing, so I’ve never bothered to pick one up and find out if I’d like the story. I see on Butcher’s website that the covers have been revamped, though I’m not sure the new ones would have captured my interest either.

That said, while doing research for a new series I’m about to start writing (more details on that soon) I’ve been reading more detective-type urban fantasy, and realized I had to give Butcher’s Harry Dresden a try.

I’m really glad I did.

Harry is a professional wizard who hires himself out both to the police and to individuals for those needing wizardly help. No love potions, please! This is serious wizarding. He can do potions that would make Snape proud and make me long for the ability myself. Plus he has some sort of blasting rod that would come in handy when walking down dark streets or on the subway or in the grocery store.

First Line:

I never used to keep close track of the phases of the moon. So I didn’t know that it was one night shy of being full when a young woman sat down across from me in McAnally’s pub and asked me to tell her all about something that could get her killed.


Love that opening! It’s so full of questions I must know the answer to that I can’t stand it. I didn’t put this story down for hours after I read that.

This is the second book in the series, and both this and Storm Front have been entertaining, full of action, and steeped with enough magic and paranormal creatures to make my heart go pitter-pat. Harry is a good man, though he keeps hinting at dark deeds done in the past that makes him believe he isn’t one of the good guys. His actions say otherwise. I think he’s too hard on himself. There’s also hints of parents with secrets being dangled here and there, plus interfaces with demons and a secretive White Council whom I’ve yet to meet in person. It’s enough to keep me coming back for more, for sure.

I’m eager to start the next one.

If you like mysteries or police procedural/detective type books, and love a little supernatural thrown in, this is for you. Start at the beginning of the series, because the backstory is building through each one and it would probably be confusing if you didn’t.


Feb 05

New Cover for a New Year!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts

I know, this sort of announcement usually happens in January. But I thought that with all the other announcements and resolutions and things of that nature that my little news would be lost in the interwebs, so I waited for February. Now everyone is stuck inside from too much snow and ice and they have nothing else to do but curl up with a good book, right?


And it just so happens I have one right here. Stronger Than Magic launched a year ago. To celebrate the birth of my first book, as well as announce the rest of the series, I’ve given her a shiny new cover and updated the story, adding two new chapters! Stronger Than Magic is stronger than ever, and available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There’s a handy widget right on this page that you can click that will take you to the Amazon page. But mostly I just wanted you to see her new clothes! So without further delay, the new look for Stronger Than Magic and for the entire Xannon series.



Take a look at the symbol…a very talented artist drew that especially for me! Her name is Carrie Osborne, and she lives in the UK. Right now she’s working on the next symbol for the series, which will feature on Promise of Magic (out in April). I can’t wait for you to see it, and the whole series. There’ll be five symbols when it’s all said and done. This particular symbol represents Water , a symbol of power created by the Water Ancients, otherwise known in our world as dolphins. This is the Dolphin Medallion, something Tarian struggles to protect in Stronger Than Magic, and something which will aid her in future battles as well.

In other news, the next in the Xannon  series, working title Macari, will launch in late February/early March. It’s a novella, and takes a look at things happening behind the scenes that affect Tarian and her struggle to find her own feet in an ever changing landscape. Big things are happening, monumental changes are coming for everyone, magical and non magical alike. Macari will play a vital part in those changes, and it’s time to tell her story. In the coming weeks I’ll reveal the cover, and a few excerpts, just to tempt you.

In the meantime, if you’ve already purchased the Kindle version of Stronger Than Magic, it should update automatically. Check it out!

Jan 13


By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts


I am so excited this morning! I’ve been madly working on the House of Xannon series, and in particular have gone back to the beginning to revamp Stronger Than Magic. I can’t wait to show you the shiny new edition. It’s getting a new cover, and includes two entirely new chapters. I’ll be re-launching it in a few weeks, plus kicking into gear an audio version for those who would rather listen (you know who you are, this one’s for you!)

The reason I’m so giddy this morning is that I’m working with an illustrator to create special artwork for the series, and this morning she sent me rough pencil sketches to peruse. Let me tell you, they’re amazing! All of them. I seriously can’t decide between them and yet I must. Isn’t that a fantastic position to be in? I couldn’t be happier with them and I can’t wait to show you.

Also in the coming weeks, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be working on this website. I want it to be a fun user experience, and I want those who are invested in this journey with me to get inside treats and sneak peaks that others not-in-the-know won’t be privy to. That means revamping the site from a  simple blog to more of a news/newsletter type of format. I love sharing news with you, but I love sharing stories even more and I can’t do that if I keep blogging instead of writing stories. The newsletter, when I get it up and running, is where insiders will find the real news, and the advance previews, etc. The blog will be where I share thoughts of the day and photos I take along the way.

My publishing schedule for this year is slightly insane, but I am determined to make it work. Stronger Than Magic is first up with a re-launch in February. After that, the next portion of the House of Xannon series will launch near the end of March. The working title is Macari. The story will be told from Macari’s point of view (a character not yet introduced in the series), and give a glimpse of other portions of the Xannon universe not seen in Stronger.

If you stick with me, by the end of the year the entire Xannon saga will be told over five books, and five novellas. A lot of words, for sure. I’m excited about all of them! You’ll want to be signed up for the newsletter, since that’s where I’ll announce them first as well as make preview copies available. If you sign up to follow my blog, your email will transfer over to the newsletter, so go ahead and sign up.

And now…back to writing!



Jul 12

Book Review: Ocean At The End Of The Lane

By Melinda VanLone | Book Review , Thoughts

OceanAtTheEndOfTheLaneOcean At The End Of The Lane

by Neil Gaiman

You can’t go wrong reading Neil Gaiman. Seriously. The only thing that keeps me from absolutely raving about this story is that it left me…somewhat…depressed. I can’t explain why…but it did. And I hate ending a story depressed. I’m a happy ending girl (see this post for details).

Not that there’s anything wrong with the ending; there isn’t. There’s no scene wherein everyone dies (though one person does, but not anyone I cared about). He didn’t kill the cat or anything. I can’t explain it. It’s probably not his fault at all, but mine. Obviously it touches on some internal baggage that I can’t quite see but I feel, none the less. And isn’t that what great writing does?

That said, this story is engrossing, fascinating, a wild trip through imagination, and every bit a mix of Alice in Wonderland and any Roald Dahl story. The language is beautiful. The images are thought provoking and so real you can taste them. It’s not a long book, so you can finish it in one sitting if you want to…and trust me, you’ll want to.

First Line:

“I wore a black suit and a white shirt, a black tie and black shoes, all polished and shiny; clothes that normally would make me feel uncomfortable, as if I were in a stolen uniform, or pretending to be an adult. Today they gave me comfort of a kind. I was wearing the right clothes for a hard day.”

It was obvious to me, from this beginning, that we start with the protagonist going to a funeral. What’s not so obvious is who the funeral is for…I don’t think he ever tells us. Whoever has passed on does not really figure into the story. What matters, and the point of the whole thing, is that the protagonist has come home to attend said funeral and ends up taking a trip down memory lane. And his memories are, to say the least, a bit strange. His childhood held moments of wonder that I could only dream of experiencing. Maybe he dreamed them too. Maybe not. Read it and see what you think.

This story will take you back to your own childhood. You’ll see it through your adult eyes and perhaps wonder if there was an Ocean that will fit in a bucket if you ask it nicely enough at the end of your lane, too. If there was one at mine, I didn’t notice it, which makes me sad. And perhaps that’s why I was depressed when I finished this story. I read fantasy and science fiction partly for the idea of leaping into the future and seeing what it holds, but mostly because I’d truly love to live in those amazing worlds; fantastical places which are so much more than our own day-to-day life. It makes me sad that ours isn’t  like them, I suppose. This book made me nostalgic for childhood magic, lost over time as we “grow up.” How I wish we kept that sense of adventure and wonder through our whole lives. How I wish it were possible.

They call it a book for adults but I think it’s a good children’s book too. I think it’s even one that parents could read together with their kids. If you prefer, get the audio book. He reads it himself and his voice is so soothing and amazing, you’ll want to weep. Or hug people. Maybe both. Who knows, maybe it’ll bring a bit of magic back to you for a day. Give it a try. Let me know what you find.

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