Sunday, August 10, 2014

Distractions Abound!

The one problem I always seem to face, more so that the occasional and highly irritating writer's block, is getting distracted. My laptop is pretty much always connected online. I'll find myself popping online quickly to check something out, whether its doing a quick search or checking an email, hours later I'll discover I've either found my way to Tumblr or I've gotten to some random, obscure video on YouTube after following links on the side (which I probably originally went there to listen to some music while writing).

I do try to focus, I really do. But some days, after getting home from work, making dinner for my husband and son, I really don't want to focus on writing. And when I don't get distracted online, I'm usually gaming it up either on the counsels (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii), I'm rolling the dice with Pathfinder or D&D. I don't mind the Pathfinder and D&D distractions, however, they are good for giving me ideas. In fact, a stand alone book that I'm writing, albeit a bit slowly right now, is based of a D&D 3.5 character I recently played in game DM'd by my husband. I do hope that readers will find Rogue's Dance both entertaining and enthralling. 

Part of my problem with becoming more easily distracted of late is needing to finish revisions to the final Priestess book, Eclipse, while really, really wanting to continued the next installment of the Chronicles book, Opening of Lost Doors. I do have a short story I set aside called Winterspell. It is part of a joint project that authors T.L. Shreffler, Intisar Khanani, and M.A. Bronson are also working on. I do have ideas for a new series, although I do promise to finish the Chronicles first. I can't deny Ril fans their fix, lol. I also would like to try my hand at urban fantasy. I considered Steampunk and Dystopian, but I worry I might disappoint readers with those and remain hesitant to try them at this time.

Anyway, I'm planing on Eclipse to have its revisions finished and have it back on the market late this fall. So keep an eye out for it. there is a teaser of the cover below, but you can see the full cover on my website.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Clean Sweep Review

 Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

"On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina. And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything."

I absolutely loved Clean Sweep. It was the first book I've ever read by best selling authors Ilona Andrews (a husband and wife team), suggested to me greatly by my husband, who is a big fan of her Magic Bites series. Dina is a strong female character more than capable of protecting herself. Her Inn reminds me of Heterodyne Castle from the Girl Genius webcomic, just magic fantasy and not steampunk. I’ve never been a fan of books with werewolves and vampires, but the initial interactions between Dina and the werewolf Sean were highly amusing, especially when his “welcome is withdrawn.” Clean Sweep is an intriguing blend of fantasy magic and sci-fi tech. Clean Sweep was originally posted chapter by chapter online for free reading, but I quite enjoy having a physical copy in my hands. The next book of the Innkeeper Chronicles, Sweep in Peace, can also be read for free online here: demo.ilona-andrews.com I've read the first four chapters already and look forward to also owning a printed copy of that book once it is released.

Up next on my to read list:
The Nameless Dwarf by D.P. Prior
Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani
Thorn by Intisar Khanani  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Save the Dates!

Save the dates for these upcoming author events!

SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY!

What: Signed print copies of Falls the Shadow and Melody of the Dark from the Chronicles of Midgard series; signed print copies of Defiance and Betrayal from the Priestess Trilogy.
When: August 6th - August 16th 2014
Where: Marc's in Medina  
1041 N. Court St.
Medina OH 44256
330-722-3399
Details: Enter to win signed print copies of the Chronicles of Midgard or the Priestess Trilogy at the Medina Marc's Customer Service counter. One winner will be chosen for each series. Limit one entry per person. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via phone or email for in store pick-up. Questions? e-mail Melissa at mmsasina@gmail.com or call Marc's at 330-722-3399

MEET THE AUTHOR!

What: Meet author Melissa Sasina
When: Saturday, August 9th, 11 am til 1 pm
Where: Marc's in Medina
1041 N. Court St.
Medina OH 44256
330-722-3399
Details: Stop by Marc's in Medina (1041 N. Court St., Medina OH 44256) on Saturday, August 9th and meet author Melissa Sasina. The event will run from 11 am til 1 pm. Get to know Melissa and her books. Grab some free bookmarks and post cards. Print copies will be on hand for purchase ($8.00 each). Questions? e-mail Melissa at mmsasina@gmail.com or call Marc's at 330-722-3399

LOCAL AUTHOR EXPO!

What: Meet local authors and learn about their books
When: Saturday, November 15th, 11 am til 2 pm
Where: Brunswick Library
3649 Center Rd.
Brunswick OH 44212
Details: Melissa Sasina will be on hand at the Local Author Expo hosted by the Brunswick Library on Saturday, November 15th from 11 am til 2 pm. Stop by, meet Melissa and learn about her books. Copies will be on hand for purchase. Grab some free bookmarks while you're there! Questions? e-mail Melissa at mmsasina@gmail.com or call the library at 330-273-415.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ah, what to write...

One problem I find myself facing as an author is want to write too many stories at once. I have the third installment of the Priestess Trilogy, Eclipse, which only needs to have it's revisions taken care of; I have the third installment of the Chronicles of Midgard series, Opening of Lost Doors, which has been put on hold since I started the Priestess revisions; and then there is Rogue's Dance, which is based off a character I played in my husband's fairly recent D&D game. I find myself want to work one all three of these at once, which is a bit bothersome. On top off all that is my horrible addiction to playing video games.

 I've always been a fan of the Final Fantasy series (VII was the first I tried my hand at and is by far my favorite), but Lightning Returns has really made me question Squenix. I'm hoping that FF15 doesn't disappoint me. Lately I've been playing Minecraft with my eight year old son more so than Diablo 3. I did restart my White Knight Chronicles game, though, after having let it sit for so long and being unable to remember what I was doing story wise.

I also have a lovely reading list I am working on. Currently I'm reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Once I'm done with that, I have The Nameless Dwarf complete chronicles by D.P. Prior to read and after that Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews and well as Intisar Khanani's books Sunbolt and Thorn. I'll post my thoughts on each as I complete them. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Upcoming Events

There are two upcoming events to save the date for:
 

Signed Copy Giveaway

When: July 25-August 6th 2014
 Where: Marc's, in Medina Ohio (1041 North Court Street, Medina, OH 44256)
What: You can enter to win a signed copy of both books from either series (The Priestess Trilogy and Chronicles of Midgard) at the Customer Service counter at Marc's in Medina. Entries will be accepted through the period, and two winners (one for each series) will be chosen on August 6. For further details, please head on over to the Facebook page or call Marc's directly at (330) 722-3399.

Local Author Expo

When: Saturday, November 15th, 2014
I will be on hand at the local author expo hosted by Brunswick Library (located at 3649 Center Road, Brunswick, OH 44212) from 11am-2pm. This is a great time to meet other local authors as well as myself. i will have print copies of some of my books on hand for anyone interested in purchasing copies.
Questions about the event can be directed to the library itself at (440) 273-4150.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Easton, Maryland

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Easton, Maryland for the wedding of my husband's cousin. It is a beautiful little town, truly, although very very pricey. We arrived an hour and half later then we had planned due to a severe backup at the bridge crossing the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the rain and wind, the path across the bridge had been taken down by the number of lanes accessible, which is understandable. What we found irritable, however, was the fact that eleven lanes from the toll booths, were trying to merge into only two lanes. Hardly anyone in the inner two lanes were allowing others to merge, causing a major back-up and several annoyed drivers from the sounds of car horns that we heard. Upon arriving to Easton, we found our hotel in the middle of the town, which was lovely. Unfortunately, everything in town, save for the bars, all seemed to close at 5:30, even though it was a Friday, which left my husband and myself, who are not drinkers, with nothing to do except walk around the closed town.
 We stayed at the Tidewater Inn, a historic hotel which was by far the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen. The staff was friendly and the rooms, although rather small, were quite quaint. They gave off a wonderful old feeling, but the old, heavy doors were quite loud when closing them and more than once I was awoken in the night by other guests entering and leaving their rooms. Originally built in 1891 as a wood-framed building known as the Hotel Avon, the inn suffered destruction by fire in 1944. In 1947 a local businessman broke ground on a state of the art, world class hotel and on September 3, 1949 the Tidewater Inn opened. A lovely sheet containing the brief history of the hotel was given to me upon arrival, which stated that many famous faces have been welcome to the hotel, such as: Bing Crosby, the Williams sisters, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor among others.

Our stay was very enjoyable. Our only complaint, however, was the prices. The hotel itself, although stunningly beautiful, was far too pricy. There was no free breakfast, only coffee and a newspaper (although they did offer a buffet, but it cost around $16 a person), no pool, and no workout room. Everything in town, pricey as well, opened late and closed early, leaving those visiting with nothing to do for a good chunk of the day. Channels available to watch on the televisions in the rooms were limited (ours actually wasn't working and maintenance had to fix it), the room was horribly cold from a non-adjustable AC, no mini fridges in the basic rooms, they had an ice machine however the only place to get water from aside from the bathroom since was the main lobby of the vending machine.

All in all, if I had to rate them, I would give them 4 stars out of 5 because although the hotel was lovely and historic, it really didn't offer much for the price. And now for some pictures!
Hotel courtyard (This angle of picture doesn't really do it justice)

Hotel Loby

Beautiful Staircase in the Lobby (they only go up to the second floor, then you have to take the elevator to the third and fourth floors)

View of the Courtyard from our room

Our room (my son took the bed on the right and enjoyed it greatly)

Hand napkins to dry hands off with. Very thick :)

Street signs nearby the hotel

Front entrance of the hotel

Looking down the stairs

Banquet room or ballroom, I'm not too sure.

View from our window at night.

Waking up the first morning. We forgot to close the blinds.

The Hunters' Tavern. Very delicious food.

More of the Hunters' Tavern

Bannings Tavern across the street from the hotel. I wanted to try their food so much, but never got the chance.

Fountain in the courtyard
Courtyard the morning we were leaving.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Books, books, books!

With LeVar Burton's kickstarter to bring back Reading Rainbow, I decided I would like to talk about some of my favorite books. I shall start with the most recent I've read:

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Genre: Dystopia

"Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back."

Recently my husband and I were at the movie theater and saw a preview for The Giver. For years he's been commenting upon and quoting this book, a book that he read back in middle school and still remembers. Interested, I picked up the book and gave it a read. I was not disappointed. Although it is aimed at young adults, the first of it genre to target children and teens, it was an engrossing read. I would have finished it the first night if I hadn't needed to go to work the next day. The future we are presented with, how normal it is to Jonas and how much you begin to question alongside him, makes you hope that one day this book does not speak true. I highly recommend reading this book.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Urban Fantasy

"Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere."

Another book suggested by my husband and one that inspired me to want to try my hand at urban fantasy instead of flat out fantasy. Upon opening this book, I quickly found that I was drawn in, following Richard and Door's ever move, wondering what would happen next, absolutely hating Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup, and curious of lie around the corner. You can imagine the great sadness I faced when I loaned the book out to a friend never to see it again. I really wished I could learn more about Door and her family, wished she could have a book all her own. All in all, it was a highly intriguing read.


Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling
Genre: Dystopia

"Michael Havel was flying over Idaho en route to the holiday home of his passengers when the plane's engines inexplicably died, forcing a less than perfect landing in the wilderness. And, as Michael leads his charges to safety, he begins to realize that the engine failure was not an isolated incident.Juniper Mackenzie was singing and playing guitar in a pub when her small Oregon town was thrust into darkness. Cars refused to start. Phones were silent. And when an airliner crashed, no sirens sounded and no fire trucks arrived. Now, taking refuge in her family's cabin with her daughter and a growing circle of friends, Juniper is determined to create a farming community to benefit the survivors of this crisis.But even as people band together to help one another, others are building armies for conquest…"

Dies the Fire is a book that really makes you wonder "what if." Suggested to me by a friend, I decided to give it a try. It was the first book I ever read in the dystopia genre and it had me hooked. It brought to question if I was faced with a similar situation, what would I do? How would I survive. It was the first book to interest me in the genre and made me want to try me hand at it. I was not entirely fond of Juniper's character, but I did enjoy reading Mike's (oddly enough my friend who suggested Dies the Fire is also named Mike). If technology as we know it was to suddenly stop working with no means to fix it, what would you do? My only main complaint is how fire and other burnable matter, such as gun powder, as well as hydraulic pressure was also affected.


The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Genre: Fantasy

"Taran dreams of adventure, but nothing exciting ever happens to an Assistant Pig-Keeper—until his pig runs away. A chase through the woods leads Taran far from home and into great danger, for evil prowls the land of Prydain. With a collection of strange and wonderful friends whom he meets on his journey, Taran finds himself fighting so that good may triumph over evil, and so that his beloved home will not fall to a diabolical fiend."

This book series, The Chronicles of Prydain, is the reason I write fantasy. One day years ago while at the local library, I borrowed this book. Before I knew it, I was hooked. I ended up borrowing the following four books in the series, reading them all in a span of a few days. And it didn't end there. I began borrowing several fantasy books by various authors and found my home. It was then that my love of fantasy and the desire to write that genre was born. Disney made a movie based loosely (and I use that term generously) of this book and the following book, The Black Cauldron. That movie by no means does this books justice, especially the Princess Eilonwy of the red-gold hair. Although aimed at a younger audience, it is a wonderful read--if you don't mind stumbling over the Welsh character and place names.


The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
Genre: Horror

"This selection of stories ranges from early tales of nightmares and insanity such as 'The Outsider' and 'The Rats in the Walls', through the grotesquely comic 'Herbert West – Reanimator' and 'The Hound', to the extra-terrestrial terror of 'The Call of Cthulhu', which fuses traditional supernaturalism with science fiction. Including the definitive corrected texts, this collection reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style and establishes him as a hugely influential – and visionary – American writer."

In all honesty, I am not a fan of horror, but my husband suggested this book and one story within in particular: The Call of Cthulhu. Lovecraft's play with words allowed me to step in the main characters shoes and he searches from answers that he really doesn't want answers to. However short it may be, The Call of Cthulhu gained a major fan base with plush toys, YouTube videos, and even songs, my favorite being Hey There Chtuhulhu. Fans of horror, if you have not read this short story or the others in the collection, please check them out. 

Have a favorite book you suggest or would like to share? comment below and let me know! I'm always looking to add to my to read list!