melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
I have two confessions to make.

1. J.K. Cheney is a friend of mine. I’ll try not to let this bias my review of this book, which I really did enjoy.
2. When I got the ARC, it was a lovely pristine thing with pure white pages. Now it has spots of tomato sauce and cheese on it. That’s because my lunch break at work is only ½ hour, and I’ve been spending said breaks with food in one hand and the ARC in the other, because I couldn’t put the darn book down.

I’m not big on mysteries, romances, politics, or books with dead bodies in them. All of which this book has, but that’s fine, because they’re all part of a lavish, intricate story set in a marvelously detailed world. It continues the story of Oriana Paredes and Duilio Ferriera, trying to have a life together despite interspecies political intrigue, plots involving body parts, magic, murder, and a ladies’ maid determined to make Duilio behave himself whether Oriana wants him to or not.

The book is set in 1902, in an alternate Portugal where selkies, sirens, and otter-folk are all part of the culture (albeit illegally.) It’s so realistic I found myself thinking “Gee, in 5 more years my grandpa will be born over in America.”

J.K. Cheney’s non-human characters are wonderfully believable. (I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that I loved seeing Lady Ferriera come into her own this time around. And I think I’ve fallen in love with Joaquim.) She handles what could be overly gruesome scenes with tact, making us feel the emotional horror of the crimes without going for “gross out.” The plot held my interest right along, and the romance between Oriana and Duilio continues to be compelling, exciting yet discreet.

I only have two regrets:

1. The ARC doesn’t have the stunning cover art of the actual book.
2. I don’t have Book 3 yet.

DSF Series

Oct. 24th, 2012 07:05 pm
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
At last, I can share some news! Daily Science Fiction will be doing a single-author series next year, and, um, I'm the author. It'll be a Twisted Fairytale Flash Series of 14 stories. Snow White with bite, Humpty Dumpty as a space alien (yes, I know that's technically a nursery rhyme), and more. I hope it'll be really fun. :)
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
[ Remember Peas, Plots, and Peril by Melissa Mead? It's now up on the web, and if you'd like to share the link with your friends, now is a good time: http://dailysciencefiction.com/fantasy/fairy-tales/melissa-mead/peas-plots-and-peril ]
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
I have 2 stories out at once! "Frog/Prince" is now available at Daily SF: http://dailysciencefiction.com/recent

And "The Salt Man" is out at IGMS: http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i27&article=_003
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
What's an appropriate word count range for a book for a precocious 8-year-old boy?

(I'm flattered. My oldest nephew is devouring books at an astonishing rate, and my sister asked if I could write "some like these, but more for boys" for him.
It's kinda sad. His current favorites are a series mainly intended for girls, about fairies, and the other boys are already teasing him about it. Home come girls can read "boys books," but not vice versa?
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
How would someone from Depression-Era Northeastern US refer to blue jeans? Denim pants?
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
It's just over 2K. Not much, but that's 2 complete stories in just over a week, which is a lot for me. It's nice to be back in the swing.
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
Over 1000 words on the Selkie story, and a few new AB covers created. It's nice to be making things again, and having them come out more or less right.

Finished!

Aug. 15th, 2009 11:33 pm
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
I broke out of my dry spell at last, and finished something. It's <2k, and it's downright weird, but by golly, it's a complete story!
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
My new WIP is set in a near-future SF Schenectady, and the MCs last names are Stewart and Proctor.

If I add somebody named Freihofer, will people want to hurt me?

(The story has a very light/silly tone, so I'm hoping this works with that.)
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
562 words on a new story.
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
Courtesy of several people, the first lines of my current Works In Progress:

“John Donne was a liar,” the painter muttered under his breath at his first sight of his client. - from "Bearer of Burdens"

Ten years is long enough for people to get suspicious.- from A Demon Divided (AKA "The Second Demon Book")

Helen put away the dishes and stole a glance between the kitchen curtains. - from "Fog Nights."

Katrina paused before leaving the shuttle.- from the as-yet-unnamed "sequel" to "Hirasol."

On maps, even the sepia-toned ones with “Here Be Dragons” in the margins, the land of Darkwood looks like an insignificant dot.- from "Snow, Blood and Dark Wood" (AKA "the novel I'll work on if I get discouraged about finding a home for the First Demon Book.")
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
Some of you may have seen the covers that "Tech Support" (aka my husband, Michael Mead,) has done for AnthologyBuilder. A little while ago we decided it would be fun to make an anthology with his newest cover and my "talking horse story," Olive Branch, in it. Just putting all of my stories with one of his covers seemed egotistical and boring, so I made a themed anthology. Originally it was going to be horse stories, but I couldn't find enough, so it ended up being Magical Creatures. It has a lot of my stories in it, but others too.

I just saw that it's been made a Featured Anthology! What fun! Here's a link if anyone would like to see it: http://www.anthologybuilder.com/view_template.php?template_id=400
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
I finally got around to putting some story links in my profile.
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
A while back, I posted about how I took part in my nephew's Secret Reader program, only instead of just reading a story to the kindergartners, I wrote a story that they could all be part of. It was such fun, we repeated it for my niece's first grade class.
Well, today I came home to find a manila envelope in the mailbox. I assumed it was a rejection, but no. It was a packet of handwritten thank-you notes from my niece's class, saying things like "You're the best Secret Reader ever," and "Please come back again."

Wow.
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
"Changelings" is out in the new issue of Aoife's Kiss. The Carpe Libris page has a link to it, plus other recent updates: http://carpelibris.wordpress.com/
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
Last year, when I sold "The Fairest of them All" to Sword + Sorceress 23, I wondered if I'd ever be able to do something like that again.

I guess I could. I just got a contract for S&S 24. ;D
melissajm: Cover for Between Worlds, by Melissa Mead, from Double Dragon Publishing (Default)
(and First Grade too!)

My niece (A) and oldest nephew (J) have something at their school called Secret Reader. On Fridays, a surprise guest can show up and read a story to the class. My middle sister (J's mom) and I had talked about the possibility of me going it someday.

So earlier this week she e-mailed me and said "J's class is learning about fairy tales and friendship this week, and since you did that Sword & Sorceress thing I thought this might be the perfect time for you to be the Secret Reader."

Take a Friday off to spend with my family and tell stories? Sure!

So today I donned my Thinking Cap (the Flowerpot Hat from my surprise birthday party at World Fantasy in Saratoga) and off we went. But we didn't just read a fairytale. We made one.

I was wearing my "Be careful or you'll end up in my novel" T-shirt, and read it to the kids. Then we started a story where the Fairy Godmother and some young Wizards-in-Training discover that an Invisible Creature is making the Enchanted Forest disappear.

When the kids heard that the Fairy Godmother just happened to have the same name as their teacher, they gasped and giggled. When I started reading the names of the apprentice wizards, which just happened to match the class list, well...!

We cast spells, and finally "painted" the creature so that people could see it and make friends with it. Everybody got to draw a body part with a different color crayon (and the Fairy Godmother magicked in the eyes, because of course you should never poke anyone in the eye with a paintbrush!) Then they named the critter.

It went over so well we did an impromptu repeat performance for my niece's 1st grade class too. My sister took notes on all the kids' responses, so tomorrow I need to make them into Official Stories for the kids to take home.

Whew, what fun!

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