Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Insatiable Reads Book Tour: Melanie Marchande

Based on True Events…?

Recently, I had a minor nervous breakdown over some spilled marinade.

Let me rewind a bit. My husband and I are in the process of moving to a new state. At the same time, I am trying to finish a novel and get started on another one. About half of our belongings are already taped up in boxes, and the other half can't be packed until the absolute last minute because we need them to conduct our daily lives. We've been living in our current place for six years, and it's time for a change of scenery. 

Anyone will warn you that a long-distance move is stressful, but you just don't know until you've found yourself neck-deep in it.

So I had a nervous breakdown over some marinade. Naturally. I went out in the morning to get all the ingredients I needed for dinner, and then after getting home, I realized that I was out of Worcestershire sauce for the marinade. Well, that's not strictly accurate. I had about…three drips left in the bottle. Since it's one of those ingredients that I buy infrequently, and the bottles are heavy and opaque, I didn't realize it was so close to being gone. My husband offered to go back out and buy some, but not before making a slightly snide remark about how he wished I'd listen when he reminded me to make sure we had all the ingredients.

He quickly apologized, and I understood - we're both stressed and irritated by every single little thing that happens. I shed a few tears that I'd been holding back for weeks. Recently, we'd found out that there might be some major issues getting our car registered in our new home. There's still no solution immediately apparent - it's a waiting game at this point. And even though I'd decided to "let it go," that was easier said than done. After he came back with the Worcestershire sauce, I felt much better, and I finished mixing up my marinade.

Then, I tipped the bowl over and it spilled all over the counter.

Naturally, I had already used up several other key ingredients in making the batch, which meant that recovering this meal required a third trip to the store to get more limes, more chili powder, more olive oil…and that was more than my poor overtaxed brain could take at that point. 

On the scale of Actual Life Problems, spilled marinade and multiple shopping trips really don't even rank. But at that moment, it felt like the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Everything came crashing down at once - my feelings of inadequacy about being able to plan and coordinate a move, my anxiety about my writing business, and the nagging pain from that one tooth that just won't stop hurting despite what my dentist promised me when he put on the crown...

So what does all this have to do with my writing? Quite a lot, actually. It's little footnotes like this that end up sticking in my memory, and worming their way into my books later on. 

When my husband tells people I'm a romance writer, they often say, in a nudge-nudge-wink-wink sort of way, "so, is that based on real life?" I'm not exactly sure what they're picturing: me soaking in bubble baths full of rose petals all day, eating chocolate and champagne and gazing into my husband's eyes until I get an idea for a story?  I wouldn't mind that, but the reality is more along the lines of me screaming into a pillow because I accidentally knocked over a bowl of sauce. My life isn't one iota more romantic than the average person's. In fact, it's probably less. 

But I do write about things that happen to me in real life. Every story I write is generally a reflection of something I'm going through at the time. In my latest release, I Married a Billionaire: The Prodigal Son, which is the third installment in the I Married a Billionaire series, the themes have a lot to do with empathy, forgiveness, and the healing of old wounds. Daniel's struggle with his father and Maddy's struggle with her own parents mirror some of what I've gone through. While it can sometimes feel painful and difficult to work through these things in writing, the results are usually worthwhile. It makes for a better story, one that rings true with the people who read it. They can feel the emotional honesty.

So no, I never married a billionaire - but my books do have a certain truth to them. If you read them, I hope you'll feel the same. 

Is there anything in your life that you've written about, or thought of writing about? Please do share in the comments!

Blurb:

This book is a standalone followup to the Top 100 Kindle Store bestseller I Married a Billionaire and I Married a Billionaire: Lost & Found.

Writing billionaire tech mogul Daniel Thorne's official biography is no small task. His wife Maddy isn't quite sure how it fell on her shoulders - but she's not exactly complaining. It's given her a rare opportunity to learn about the details of Daniel's life that he's never shared with her before. After a rocky beginning, their relationship has finally settled into something comforting and secure. After a while, Maddy begins to reconsider her once-stuanch decision not to have children.

Then, one night, a ghost from Daniel's past appears.

His father, believed to be dead, has come back in hopes of repairing their relationship. Daniel is devastated by the years-long deception, and suspicious of his father's motives in reappearing after so much time. Old Mr. Thorne has his reasons for disappearing, but how can he possibly repair a relationship that's been so badly fractured by distance and lies? Meanwhile, Maddy gets some unexpected news of her own, and she realizes she must find a way to reach her husband and his father, to knit them all together into a family again. 

Bio:

Melanie Marchande is a young writer who loves creating fun, flirty, and occasionally steamy stories about two people realizing they just can't live without each other. If you'd like to read more from her, please leave a review letting her know what you liked about the book so she knows what to write next. You can also connect with her online:

Twitter: @MellieMarchande

Make sure to join her mailing list for special offers and exclusive sneak peaks and giveaways: eepurl.com/srHcH


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