“Sometimes the best things to say are immortalized on paper”

April 16, 2015 Leave a comment

Elysium is half finished, but that goes without saying it’s on the first draft. This milestone is worth mentioning, because it has already long surpassed the length Sweet Lucidity was on the same occasion. Though what truly is worth mentioning is that this will be the last. As some of you know, my mother is fighting stage 4 cancer, and I do mean fighting with everything she has. As few of you may know, she is also the editor of the Sweet Lucidity series. Just as this series started with healing an emotional wound, it will end with another one opening. My mother, Teresa, has insisted this be the best book for Sweet Lucidity fans, and that is a promise we will both keep.

terralee

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Facebook Page Issues, Changes, and How You Can Help

February 1, 2015 Leave a comment

I have now received hundreds of complaints that the posts made to this page are not showing up on timeline feeds. I have contacted Facebook numerous times regarding this, and have yet to receive any response on what can be done to remedy this. From the reports on my end, for any post made approximately 1% will see that post. For every boosted post, spending about $5 for each one, 4% on average will see that post. I have studied the settings to see if there is something I missed to fix this, but it wasn’t until today that I realized I cannot fix this problem.

I have noticed on my own personal timeline, posts from pages I have liked are not showing up either. Frustrated, I visited a help forum, and started a conversation with someone who worked for Facebook. He provided insight of how Facebook is tightening a hold around page owners wallets in order to interact with fans. It was also a sweeping response to users who wanted their timelines free from advertising, instead of relying on those users to hide posts/pages from showing on their timeless through their settings. I had suspected it all along, posting about it once before, but now have confirmation of it. You might notice on pages with over 100K likes, less than 100 interact with their posts. It’s even harder for pages like Sweet Lucidity, with a little over 5K likes, to be able to interact with a dozen fans on a single post. Otherwise, to insure a single post is seen frequently by the majority of you, it will cost me a little over $100. This is an issue that only seems to get worse over time.

Before the changes were put in place, it was easy to interact with the majority of you. I took pride in posting excerpts and contests exclusive for Facebook fans. Giveaways, challenges and contests were a fun way to give back. Messages and comments sent through the page were one of the main sources of receiving feedback from you. There was a time I couldn’t keep up with messages, and the majority of fans of the series relied on this page for news & updates. I am just as disappointed as you regarding Facebook’s handling of official pages. It has turned from subscribing to one for updates to its face value of merely liking one to show it as an interest on your profile. Because of it, I am having to change the way I use this page until Facebook allows page posts on users timelines.

From here on:
* All giveaways will be available through Goodreads
* I am discontinuing fan challenges & contests

There are a few things that can help increase the visibility of posts made to this page. For my part, regular postings are suggested to help, and by regular I mean several posts a day. I am going to test this theory to see if it works. If it is of importance to me, my writing, or the series, I will share it with all of you. There is also something you can do. Share, like, and comment on posts that interest you. Though most importantly, follow the page by clicking “Follow” at the top. Hopefully this will increase the frequency of posts made to the page in showing on your timelines.

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Excerpts, book signing, and more announcement

January 27, 2015 Leave a comment

I have a few excerpts from Elysium ready to go, and I will be posting them throughout the week. I haven’t stopped working on Lorelei, I progressed too far into it, and after a number of requests, I have decided to continue Don’t Touch the Butterflies too. I have a few excerpts ready from those as well, and will post them soon.

I am planning another author appearance & book signing in Lubbock. I really enjoyed the last one, so I’m excited to return, this time to see books on the shelves for me to sign!

Speaking of books, I’ve been working on the cover for Elysium, and I have been having a hard time deciding between several of them. I just might leave it up to the fans to decide this one!

Hope everyone’s start to 2015 has gone smoothly, and I hope those of you bundling up for the big winter storm stay safe & warm.

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Meet the suspects – extended excerpt from Don’t Touch the Butterflies

November 15, 2014 Leave a comment

dttbfrontTwo friends plus one. Two boys who have grown into young men, plus one. Ben and Chris had done it all, the playhouse, the sleepovers, the video games and the girls. It were the girls that brought them ever closer together, always wanting one and then the other, never even having kissed one.

Ben Stackler was an odd sort, a sore thumb, the boogey man to those who did not know him better. His dress was all black, his hair long and thick like oil. His taste in music was just as miserable. He was that guy, the one who sat in the back of the class, mysterious and brooding. He was that guy who skipped PE for a smoke behind the gymnasium. He was that guy that every girl wondered what it would be like for him to break his shell just for her, and for every guy to beat up for drawing pentagrams on the bathroom walls. Yes, he was that guy mothers warned their sons about, and fathers loaded their shotguns to protect their daughters from. He never sat in the back of a police car, but every cop eyed him for petty crimes committed anonymously, especially when the underpasses were vandalized with black graffiti of anarchy and skulls. Though really his only crime was abusing his lungs with cigarettes, his hands so quick, his mother never noticed him taking them from her packs. He did not have to be so quick; she slept through most her life, dazed from the fumes of drunken patrons who called her bar home. They looked alike, though their minds were strangers. Ben was highly intelligent, more so than his own good. His biggest fault was being too trusting that everyone else around him was more intelligent than he was. It made him that much easier to escape the blame upon in a city of sinners and angels.

Chris White was Ben’s opposite. He was a straight A student, a Boy Scout with nearly every badge contrived, the last rank achievable within his grasp. It did not bother his single mother much when he began listening to heavy metal music, shadowing Ben at a very young age. With long blonde hair, fair skin and a perfect complexion, Chris looked innocent, his bright eyes wise beyond their years. He compensated Ben’s downfall, knowing the rest of the world could not be trusted. He learned that early on in life, at the tender age of five. He admired the scoutmaster who taught him to swim, earning that coveted award of fastest swimmer one year at summer camp. He stood proudly, looking at the shiny metal against his bare chest in the mirror of the men’s bathroom when the figure of a father came up behind him. They do not have a badge for what he was taught next, if they did he would have been rewarded handsomely. He never stood for any man to enter his mother’s life, always fearing they were all the same. She went through life single and alone, her son the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of his own sanity.

The two boys were a perfect match in a world where doubt both murder and deliver. They grew up in the same trailer park, sharing the same experience of fortune, living from the wealth of imperfection. They found their mother in the episodes of the Brady Bunch, their father in watching the ones playing ball with their sons in the park. Apart they were weak, together they were unyielding to hurricane force winds. Nothing could tear the two apart.

It was of no surprise the boy who lived in the worst trailer in the park found comfort in their presence. He came from a house of discord, his mother having left him to walk the streets all day and night, his father collecting hard earned pay as the oldest construction worker in the state. Drugs and alcohol flowed freely through his home when his mother was around, served on a broken plate for breakfast and feasted on paper for dinner. Dessert was only served in the streets, and she grew fat on it. The only treat Jamie Taylor enjoyed was the quiet that settled after each beating, most of the bruises now deeper than the surface of his skin. He always stayed quiet; knowing when he opened his mouth others would hear his demons. He was nineteen years old, but his mind knew no more than a seven year old. It was for that reason others were able to hurt him, use him and downright abuse him. He was not safe from anyone, not a teacher, not even his priest. He became a statistic the moment he was born, surviving the hand that was supposed to caress his cheeks which instead had covered his mouth. Even though he barely spoke to the two best friends, he followed them everywhere. His father thought things were looking up for his son, not realizing Jamie had turned into a shadow rather than a companion. That would be another demon his son kept buried deep inside. He did not know what else to do with them, nor did they with him.

All three of them were expected to graduate the fast approaching summer. As in life, the school wanted to be rid of Jamie. He had found an endless existence in ninth grade the moment he entered high school, awkward and reserved. He had hoped his ignorance would be forgiven, an apple a day left atop the desks of all his teachers, stolen from the cafeteria every morning. Not a single one of those teachers protested losing him to a life of desolation. He was not seen as a boy with promise, but a burden on their yearly raises. It had been the same ones, year after year, who took his standardized tests, barely passing the grade themselves with the answers they filled in instead.

It was an odd match indeed when the best friends chose not to ostracize Jamie. They were softened by the same apples handed to them during lunch, an offering of a desperate need to hear two words of appreciation and a rare chance to experience some semblance of approval.

The duo gradually became an unintended trio, although it was only realized on those rare occasions Jamie actually spoke, his lisp unmistakable, his ignorance penetrating. After school the three walked the three miles to their trailer park just southwest of town. It never failed. At least twice a day someone would make it clear they were unwanted outcasts, usually hanging out the window of beaten up trucks, their disapproving breath ripe with afternoon liquor. They never greeted the dissent; they never even acknowledged its sound. The hateful words would fall upon closed ears, their minds already filled with enough to last a lifetime.

The crossing of railroad tracks were symbolic in the area they lived, across from brand new housing developments, each one like the other, the only difference the hue of brown and the sounds of children enjoying a hot afternoon outside in the backyards with a pool. Ben would step on the tracks, not afraid if they trembled beneath his feet by an approaching train. Chris would step over them, always the first to quickly meet the other side. It was Jamie who would look both ways, taking a running leap to avoid the tracks entirely. It did not matter how one crossed them, what mattered was which side you called home, home where sleep never came easy by the sound of cockroaches feeding on the walls.

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Anniversary Giveaways Announcement

October 4, 2014 Leave a comment

To celebrate the 4th anniversary of Sweet Lucidity, I am giving away one signed copy of each of my books. Starting now until December 25th, enter to win on Goodreads for your chance to win.

Sweet Lucidity by Melissa Bond

Sweet Lucidity

by Melissa Bond

Giveaway ends December 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Dragonfly (Sweet Lucidity Vampire Suite) by Melissa Bond

Dragonfly (Sweet Lucidity Vampire Suite)

by Melissa Bond

Giveaway ends December 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

In Silent Requiem by Melissa Bond

In Silent Requiem

by Melissa Bond

Giveaway ends December 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Don't Touch the Butterflies by Melissa Bond

Don’t Touch the Butterflies

by Melissa Bond

Giveaway ends December 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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“A corpse is the answer to a murderer’s riddle”

September 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Walls shook his head. Maybe he was dealing with someone with a low level of comprehension, or maybe he was dealing with someone just acting like it.  This was either going to be extremely difficult or exceptionally easy. “What is her number?”

The answer rolled off Jamie’s tongue. He knew it by heart the moment she had given it to him, along with a hint that she would become the love of his life. He planned to marry her someday, asking her the first chance an opportunity presented itself. Though his father did express only one condition, and that was for Jamie to graduate first. His little person, as he started calling him when he was old enough to remember, would be the first Taylor man to graduate high school.

“I’ll be right back,” Walls said standing up abruptly, his chair causing a teeth-grinding scuff to scar the quiet. He paused for a moment, seeming to reflect on something. “Do you want anything? A soda maybe, or a sandwich?”

“A soda would be real good, sir. Real good.” Jamie felt he was able to breathe a bit easier, settling more comfortably in his chair. Clearly he was making a good impression on the detective; otherwise he wouldn’t be so considerate of his needs. How proud his father will be to hear how he impressed a detective, of all people. After all, his father loved his good ol’ boy.

Walls slapped the notepad down hard against his desk, and rubbed his eyes until they felt raw. He had a horrible feeling in the pit of his stomach, the kind of twisting sensation that always swelled right before an interrogation that takes longer than twelve hours to get a confession out of someone. He breathed in deep, releasing the air slowly from his lungs, methodically. His fingers quickly dialed the number from the notepad, and his ears were greeted by a bubbly voice. “Yes, may I speak to Suzie Justman?”

The voice sounded unsure. “This is she?”

“Good,” Walls cleared his throat, his voice hardening some. It was a tone of authority, one that always seemed to coerce youth into telling him everything he needed to know. “My name is Detective Walls with the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office.”

“Oh wow, a detective?” she sort of gasped, unveiling her naivety.

“Yes,” Walls said, closing his eyes to preserve his patience. He pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to release the pressure starting to build in his head. “I just have a simple question for you.”

“Okay.”

“Who were you with on the night of April 10th?”

A moment of silence lingered on the line as Suzie thought for a moment. “I was at my grandmammy’s. That was my cousin’s birthday, and we had dinner that night.” She thought for another moment more. “I spent the night at her house and came home the next day.”

“Okay, thank you very much,” Walls said, making a note of her answer beneath the number on his notepad. “You have helped me tremendously.”

She giggled, clearly beholden with his praise. “You’re very welcome, detective.”

“Goodbye, now,” Walls said, still waiting for her to hang up the phone, and stop blushing through it.

“Bye, detective,”

Suzie slid from the stool, hanging up the receiver on its base against the wall. Her mother, a slender woman with features aging her more than a decade continued the chore of washing the dishes, her gaze straight ahead through the bay window overlooking the alley cutting through the trailer park. “Suzie,” she said without breaking her concentration.

Suzie stopped abruptly, turning slowly to look at her mother. “Yeah, mamma?”

“We were at Mammy’s on the 9th, not the 10th.”

“Oh!” Suzie said suddenly remembering. “What did I do on the 10th then?”

“You were with that boy, the one I told you not to hang out with” her mother said, setting down a dish for another. “What did the detective want?”

“He just wanted to know who I was with on April 10th,” Suzie thought for a moment. “Should I call him back and tell him I was with Jamie?”

Her mother pondered the idea for a moment. She always considered Jamie as an apple that spoils the bunch. He had it written all over his skin, never mattering he spoke with all due respect to her. It was his reputation that was enough to prove it, even his yearbook photo looked like a mugshot instead of something a parent would hang on their wall, much less show others who your daughter is in love with. As she considered the reasons for her hesitation, the answer slipped from her lips more quickly. “Not unless he calls back again.” Her daughter was not so comfortable with her mother’s advice, but she was not about to go against it. She nodded, turning to leave her mother to the dishes. “Lord Jesus knows what that boy has done now. He’s not going to take my daughter where he is going. No sir,” her mother said under hushed breath. The love of a mother is always protective and kind, but in the shadow of doubt, it can be often cruel and blind. It is in their nature to do anything to protect what they had a hand in creating. Even if it puts someone else in front of a loaded gun.

Hope you enjoyed this extended excerpt from Don’t Touch the Butterflies. It is now available in paperback & eBook through most major online retailers such as Amazon , Barnes & Noble , iTunes, Kobo, and more! 

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Extended excerpt from Don’t Touch the Butterflies

September 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Her eyes were endless windows to hopes and dreams, her hair the breeze they traveled upon. Her laughter resounded, her smile lit up the world as bright as the sun. Cindy opened her own eyes, and the vision of her daughter slowly faded with her dreams. She treasured those tiny moments with Charlotte, it was the only place she could see her now. Though Charlotte never spoke in the dream, she seemed to try to communicate. Only Cindy never could cross the space between them. She could only watch her beautiful daughter until cruel reality forced her return.

One. Two. Three.

Cindy freed her breath, sitting up slowly.  She felt the cold air rush in between the sheets, the warmth that had settled beside her unmistakable now. George slept soundly, undisturbed by her stirring. He was fully clothed, his body above the sheets, his head resting against the pillows undisturbed from their common place. He still cared, though it did little to comfort her pain.

Cindy sat up, swinging her feet over the bed. She carefully slipped her feet into her slippers, wrapping her silk robe around her loosely. Just like the morning before, she retraced the worn steps made to her daughter’s room, opening the door patiently. Charlotte’s laughter sounded upon the doorknob being turned, fading away as the door opened. The room was especially warm by the sun dancing around it. Her daughter’s scent was still unyielding in her absence. Cindy wanted to think her daughter was still in the room. Only the idea was cruel, cheating a lifetime with a child so desperately wanted, whose life was celebrated joyously. Now only fading memories remained, taunted by ghosts filling the hole where they once resided.

“Cindy?” George’s voice spoke from behind her.

Cindy turned, looking through him, her face void of emotion. “Only a dream,” she finally spoke.

George looked pained, staring at his ex-wife’s face. What was she to him now? Just an ex-wife, or an ex-mother-to-his-child? He struggled with finding a place for her in his life now. Their friendship had been lost in a sea of bad decisions from one mistake he made on one night long ago. If a promise could be made for his daughter to return, he would do anything to erase that night that tore them all apart. Maybe it would have been all so very different.

Don’t Touch the Butterflies now available in paperback on Amazon, and eBook through most major online retailers.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L4OF0L0

 

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