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Monday, July 10, 2017

Interview & #Giveaway: Rising Tide: Dark Innocence by Claudette Melanson


Please welcome author Claudette Melanson to Full Moon Bites for an interview & Giveaway!! Read on below for more info about her novel and an excerpt!


Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi there! My name is Claudette Melanson, and I live in Kitchener, Ontario with six wonderful house bunnies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters, Beckett, Daenerys and Sansa. Although I am now a Canadian citizen, I did grow up in Bristol, Tennessee. Lucky for me, my mother began reading to me at a very early age, and I developed a deep love of reading. We had hundreds of books in our house, and I read everything I could get my hands on. Once I discovered vampires, a lifelong obsession took root. I watched all the old vampire movies with Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. I read any vampire fiction or lore I could find. I also loved the classics like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Little Women. When I got a little older, my Aunt Betty snuck her Stephen King novels to me—my mother was quite religious and didn’t want me reading his work—and he became a huge influence on me, as did Ernest Hemingway in college.

I always wanted to be a writer, but chose English Education as a career path. I loved all the books I studied at university, but a place in the classroom was not for me. I found managing high school students to be difficult and felt like the standardized American education system did more to encourage a dislike for literature than foster a lifelong love of reading and writing.

Discouraged, I went back to the classroom and earned a second bachelor degree in one semester in English arts. Then, I went on to earn my Master of Arts in Literature. After I felt as though I’d honed my writing skills well enough and had experienced enough life to replicate life on the page, I began to push toward finishing my first novel.

When I was nearly three quarters of the way done with Rising Tide, one of my friends gave me Twilight as a birthday present. Both the story and Ms. Meyers’ incredible story of writing while her young children were asleep and persevering past rejection letters drove me to the finish line for my own book. I’d produced so many novel starts but never finished any of them, and I knew the time had come. Finishing my first book was one of the best feelings I ever experienced in my life.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love to play with the bunnies. We lay in the floor, and I’ll hold toys for them to chew or toss and give them pets. I love to read, bake and cook and try to throw some of that into a week (I’m doing better with reading more since I began reviewing for InD’Tale Magazine). I do love to travel when I go on my signings and love meeting readers and potential readers. I always try to seek out new roller coasters to ride; I’m kind of obsessed with those. I’ve visiting Six Flags Magic Mountain four days in the last two years, and my husband and I always purchase season passes for Canada’s Wonderland. Twisted Colossus, Leviathan and Tatsu are my favorites.

I know authors get asked this a lot but do you have any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing! Although it’s much easier to get a book published these days, the process will mostly be an uphill battle. Unless you get very lucky, you most likely won’t really make any money for years. You’ll need to build a substantial platform and library of published works. You will go to signings and spend $2K and sell two books. You’ll spend six times in prizes and marketing what you earn. Firstly finish that book and then hire a professional cover designer and editor—this is a must. If you can’t afford it, save up before publishing. Nothing makes me put a book down faster than constant errors, switches in tense, poor development. There are errors in books published from the big houses, but everything should be done to keep them to a minimum (no book is perfect or completely error free). Network as much as you can, but limit your time on social media—if you don’t, you will never get anything written. It will take years, but if you keep writing quality and offer your readers value and love, you will make it. If you give up and stop writing, there is never a chance for success to happen. (And yes, I’ve felt like giving up plenty of times!)

Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book?


This book, Rising Tide, is my first full-length novel. The story has been compared to Twilight, but I feel that Maura is a much different character than Bella. She is going through bizarre physical changes she can’t explain, and she is doing so, mostly, alone. Her mother is distant, due to the loss of Maura’s father before she was even born; she’s had to leave her love interest behind and her differences have made her a social outcast at her high school. A few reviewers have called this novel a simple story, but there are many layers I believe some readers have overlooked. Maura represents the other and how society treats that other in some social circles. The relationship between Maura and her mother is strained for several reasons and the coping mechanisms they each employ to deal with those difficulties was a dynamic I worked and reworked to build. There are subtle clues sprinkled throughout, the mysteries behind them revealed slowly in future books as the story plays out. Most of the time, the characters are not always what they appear to be, and since the story is told from one character’s perspective—Maura’s—sometimes it takes time and much observation/interaction for her to discover the whole truth. I’ve attempted to include mythology and characters which make the books original and created characters which invoke strong emotional responses from the reader. It’s a story about finding your place in the world, learning who you can count on when things are tough and discovering it’s more than okay to break the mold and be the person you want to be in a world so strongly driven by conformity.

What was the inspiration for this novel?

One of the things that really struck me was that Stephenie Meyers had a dream about Bella and Edward, and that dream drove her to write Twilight. This was so amazing to learn because my book had started in just the same way. I dreamed about Maura many times before I started writing Rising Tide, and I still dream of her today. I’ve seen many little snatches from her life in my dreams, but others are dreamed up during my waking hours. I felt like I knew her before I even began the book, so that helped me connect very strongly with her character.

Where can we purchase this book?

I actually made the first book in this series of trilogies to come perma-free. I want readers to be able to try me out, see if they enjoy my writing style, without risk. You can download the book
on every major platform for free, and I’ve also priced the paperback as low as the printers will allow. Here are the links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1h0bktb

Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/2ozV0r7

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2hDOgU1

Amazon Australia: http://amzn.to/2hWIBWF

Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2ppDYLn

Amazon India: http://amzn.to/2hDHpK7

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1NysHcY

iBooks: http://apple.co/1PWXYwg

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1YzKAjr

Website: http://bit.ly/1DVaL7x

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2oJg8ah

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1XK3guq

Audible: http://adbl.co/1jToQzM

Can we expect more novels from you in 2017?

Most definitely! I’m finishing up a Christmas anthology, The 12 Terrors of Christmas, with eleven original works by me included. There will also be a bonus story by author, Lynn Lamb. One of the stories will be a bonus peek at Maura’s family during the skipped over Christmas in the third book Riptide. Readers will learn a secret there that was not disclosed in the first trilogy ;)

I also have my second children’s book being illustrated right now. This will also be a Christmas book and both will be released in early November if all goes as planned.

The first book in the next Maura trilogy is about halfway written, but will probably come out early in 2018. I’m also working on a light contemporary romance series. It would be nice to get the first couple of books out at the end of the year, but I’ll have to see how fast the writing goes J

Where do you see yourself at in five years—writing wise?

In five years, I hope to at least have the next two Maura DeLuca trilogies completed. In addition, I’d like to finish my YA mermaid novel…which I’m still uncertain about in regard to the book being a stand-alone or a series. I hope to have finished my secret contemporary romance series, have a couple of holiday anthologies in addition to the upcoming Christmas horror one and at least four more Butters the Lop children’s books. There are a few horror books I’d like to write, as well as one disjointed romance. I have tons of ideas, but really need to write faster! I hope to have hit at least the USA Today bestseller’s list and would really LOVE to hit the NY Times’. If I get to do three signing a year, that will also include fifteen opportunities to meet readers. I hope, hope, hope I will can afford to have a PA at that point as the do-everything schedule is killing me!

If you could live in the world you have created, would you? If no, why not?

Yes! I would love to have Maura as a best friend. Even though she makes mistakes, she has a good heart. Millicent would probably frighten me, but intrigue me just as much. Caelyn would be a tough nut to crack, and Aldiva might make sure I never made the cut for the vampire fold. The character of Susie is based on my real sister, so I’m assuming we would be fast friends. Of course, I would hope to become a vampire like the rest of them, but would settle for being a family friend as well. Plus, the setting is my favorite city I’ve lived in, Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us?

Yes! In October of this year, I’ll be signing with For the Love of Books and Alcohol in Chicago. Next February I’m planning to be in Nashville with Kingston Publishing, New Orleans with For the Love, Vancouver with Beyond the Click and Penned Con in St. Louis, Missouri.

Details and a link to tickets for Chicago can be found here: http://bit.ly/2iKRl1I

Details and a link to tickets for New Orleans can be found here: http://bit.ly/2uNkIYF

Details and a link to tickets for Nashville can be found here: http://bit.ly/2t0LWxD

Tickets for Penned Con 2018 in St. Louis can be found here: http://bit.ly/2ueAoH5

Vancouver will be announced at a later date. You can always find the latest news and links to tickets for events on my website’s home page: http://bit.ly/1DVaL7x

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Oh yes! Thank you so much! The overwhelmingly positive response I’ve received for Rising Tide has always inspired me to keep writing. When an author first puts their work on public display, the fear of rejection is so high. I was so anxious to see if readers would like Maura’s story, and if they hadn’t, that rejection would be so difficult to face, even though I write my books for me first. I believe you have to do that to be true to yourself, because there is no way to please every single reader. I think readers will see that genuine love in the writing, and I hope you all find my love for Maura and her story in my books. I really appreciate all the feedback, reviews and encouragement. Without readers, all an author’s work wouldn’t mean much beyond their own love for that book.

Random Quickies!

Pepsi or coke?

I don’t drink soda unless it’s Zevia grape flavor. I believe most soda is horrible for your body, and I’m a huge health nut.

Cats or dogs?

Neither! Rabbits…although, I do love all animals.

Favorite movie?


Watchmen. I love the gritty commentary on society…also, I’m a huge Jeffrey Dean Morgan fan.

Favorite book or author? Yeah we know it can be hard to choose! ;)

Twilight will always be my favorite.

Favorite color?

Must be red and black together

What book are you reading today?

Crimson Moon by Sherri Wingler. It’s a unique take on werewolves, and I’m really enjoying her voice. Her characters are well-rounded and the dialogue is full of plenty of snark.

Have you ever been out of the state where you live?

I actually live in a province in Canada, Ontario. And, oh yes. I try to attend at least three signings a year, so I can visit readers all over and meet lots of new ones. I grew up in Tennessee, went to university in Pennsylvania, drove across the country to move to Washington State, drove my son home from British Columbia one year at Christmas, and have attended author signings in Kitchener; Washington D.C.; Palm Springs, California; and my hometown of Bristol, Tennessee. I just returned from Los Angeles, California, driving three 12-hour days each way, and will be in Chicago, Illinois in October. Next year, I have signings planned for Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Vancouver, British Columbia and St. Louis, Missouri.

Excerpt:


There was no shock strong enough to stop me then. Just a greedy, driving impulse pounding through every cell. I was hungry, and I wanted beyond all wants, to eat. A red film pervaded my eyes, turning the world crimson. My pulse screamed inside my head, exiling all other sound. And the boy’s blood called to me, drawing me down to my knees on the ground beside him.
“Maura!” From somewhere very far away, part of me acknowledged Ron’s voice. The reverberation was enough to draw me up, up, up from where I was, at present, drowning in gluttony at the taste of blood. Not quite enough though; I continued to lap at the side of the nameless boy’s head.
“MAURA!!” Ron’s voice was much more forceful then—a force to be reckoned with—and rife with shock. But he didn’t settle for shouting at me. I felt him behind me, hooking his hands under my shoulders and jerking me to my feet in an instant.
He whirled me around, roughly, and I found myself staring blankly into his face, trying to focus. “My god! What are you doing?!!” He was shouting at me, his face not an inch from mine, but I still couldn’t come around from my bloodhaze completely. I wanted to shove him away…violently…and reattach my mouth to the bloody wound at my feet.
“Stop! Leave me alone!” I fought against him until I saw Shane coming through the door after us. He stopped short and stared at me, his mouth gaping open with shock, fear in his eyes. Ron pushed him back inside, slamming the door in his face.
He turned his attention back to me and shook me forcefully. “Maura.” My name came out a rough whisper. “What’s wrong with you?!!”
He wiped the back of his right hand across my mouth. The left came up after to cover my mouth and nose, attempting to sweep away the bloody mess with his fingers. I heard from that small, not-in-control part of my mind again. A tiny voice wondering exactly what was happening. The part in control didn’t care about anything except his exquisite scent. He smelled better than the pizza, better than the boy’s blood… I struck at him, precipitously, like a viper. He narrowly avoided the sink of my teeth into his skin.
I had to give Ron credit; he only looked frightened for a moment. In the slice of an instant, he composed the look on his face, bravely took another spit-laden swipe at the corner of my mouth and jerked the door back open.
He hauled Shane out by the front of his shirt and then slammed the door shut—that time in Merina’s astonished face—once again.
Shane’s eyes slid toward me, then flicked quickly back to Ron’s face. They stayed there.
“Shane.” Ron said his name with calm and quiet. “This guy fell and hit his head.” He inclined his own toward the figure sprawling before us. “Maura was trying to help him by cleaning up the wound.” He said those words with such weight, as if he were burning them into Shane’s head with a branding iron. “You got that? She was helping him.” When Shane didn’t respond he shook him firmly, as he had me before. “Do you understand?”
Shane snapped out of the trance he’d seemed trapped in. He looked from Ron’s face to my own, blinked a couple of times and then nodded his head. He licked his lips before he spoke. “Yeah. Yeah, I‘ve got it.” He shook his head to clear it, and Ron released his grip on Shane’s shirtfront.
At that moment, my head snapped around to the left corner of the house at the sound of approaching footsteps. Caelyn glided into my view, as smooth as silk in her tight black-leather jacket. The expression on her face was enough to render my knees incapable of supporting my weight. I slid toward the ground, but Ron hauled me back up immediately. I tried to form words, but my vocal cords didn’t seem to be working. My head was starting to clear to the fact that Caelyn was going to kill me, slowly, painfully… I looked up to Ron, fully mindful he had no power to save me.



Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Date Published: Feb 18, 2014
Publisher: Ingramspark


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2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner for YA Mystery
2015 RONE Award Finalist for YA Paranormal

2015 New Apple Top Medalist for Young Adult Ebook

Chosen as one of 400 for the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2014!!!
Rising Tide will sink its fangs into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night

Could Maura's life get any worse? ...turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura's never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother's lies—become obstacles in Maura's desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.


About the Author


Claudette Melanson writes dark fantasy in Kitchener, Ontario with four bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters & Beckett. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories...along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.

Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

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2 comments:

  1. Sorry! I missed seeing this. On the schedule it said the 12th and I was looking on that day and missed it. Thanks so much for featuring me and Rising Tide and I'll share it now! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are fine! There was some confusion between this tour and its dates with another and it did not get sorted out until it was already published. I was happy to have you here though! Please let me know if you ever want to come back by! :)

      Delete

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