Melissa Pearl is an exciting YA indie author with a very worldly flavor, which is probably an amalgam of the rich experiences she has had in her travels. Her books are interesting and complex, but easy to read and fun. And I’m very jealous because she’s lived in New Zealand, and China. I visited China once. We climbed one of the mountains in the Zhang Zha Zhe province, I’m sure I just butchered and misspelled that all in one. I wound up needing to get shoes because I’d gotten a new pair of hiking boots that had refused to break in even though I ran over them with my car, and discovered, stupidly, that hiking a mountain in China wasn’t a good place to keep trying to break them in. So I stopped in one of the villages to get a pair of sneakers. Seriously, they had to go to the men’s section to find shoes for me, giggling all the way at the Western woman’s giant boat feet. I’m 5’1″. But they were very polite and nice. It was really a wonderful experience. The people were friendly and warm, the landscape was breathtakingly majestic. The different cultures we saw, since China is not, as many people think, ethnically homogenous at all, were fascinating. We got to meet and see some of the mountain villages of the Tujia people, the ethnic descendants of the ancient Ba people. Their history is incredibly rich, and I’d never known or heard anything about them before. It was an amazing trip. We’d initially gone with the kung fu school I was part of at the time, so we got to do some really nifty things, like perform in other schools there, and meet and exchange arts with Shaolin monks.
I can see how her wide experiences and the places she’s been are firing her imagination! In her own words, here’s Melissa!
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has produced four more books and has a YA fantasy trilogy coming out this year.
“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/melissapearlauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Pearl/e/B0064I6S26/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5314516.Melissa_Pearl
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/melissapearl
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1) What is your all-time favorite book and why?
Man – that is such a tough questions. One? I’m only allowed one? LOL.
One series that I have read over and over in my time is the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Those books have it all – awesome romance, excellent action and tension, amazing descriptions, plus a deep message running through the books (if you’re into that kinda thing – which I am). They made me laugh, cry and fall in love. Haha Just my type of story.
2) Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?
Hmmm – how do you answer that question without coming across as pretentious? My Time Spirit Trilogy has been compared to Twilight in the sense of an intense love story. I wouldn’t say my writing is super fancy, but I know how to tell a fast paced story with lots of emotion and tension.
3) Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
Ooo – I have so many. Little moments between my characters are so precious to me. I can feel everything they are feeling and I love it. Here is a favourite of mine, which has also received some highlights. It’s a quote from Golden Blood (Book 1 in the Time Spirit Trilogy).
“How are you okay with this?” Gemma took a step back. “I can travel through time!”
Harrison shrugged and closed the distance between them. “Hey, I was cool with alien, this isn’t much different.”
“I’m a total freak!”
“Yeah.” He grinned as he threaded his fingers through her belt loops and pulled her towards him. “But you’re my freak.” His breath tickled her skin as he leaned towards her and whispered, “Face it, Hart, you’re stuck with me. I knew the second I touched you my life had changed…and you knew it too.”
It always makes me smile. Harrison’s reaction to Gemma’s revelation is perfect in my mind. Those two are made for each other and I love that he figures it out so early on.
4) What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
I get my inspiration from all over the place. Movies are huge for me. I would love to see my stories on the big screen one day. I picture them that way in my head. I always get a tingle running through my body when I watch a movie with a really great kissing scene or an excellent action sequence… anything that makes my emotions start to bubble.
I am inspired by music as well – everything from movie scores to punk rock to country to alternative. I love it all! I even love my toddler’s music, although it’s not that inspiring, just fun to sing along to
5) Describe your typical writing day or week.
I get up an hour before my family each morning to work on my social media stuff. It takes that long to clear my e-mail, do any blog post stuff I want to do, work through my Facebook notifications and my Twitter news. Time zon wise, it’s the best time for me to do this as there is more traffic around the sites I use.
As soon as my son goes down for his midday nap, I race to my computer. Four out of five days, I spend my time working on my writing and usually one day a week or at least half of one of those sessions is used on admin type things – numbers, blogging, extra marketing stuff. I also get a two-hour sleep in every Sunday morning, so I use that time to write as well. If my husband ever goes out in the evenings, I write once the kids are in bed.
It takes every spare moment I have to keep up with my writing. Thankfully I adore doing it, so it doesn’t feel like hard work.
6) Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?
I never eat when I’m writing. It would slow me down too much. I drink a lot of water, but if I’m really tired, I allow myself a small Coca Cola. The caffine boost can be useful sometimes.
7) Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?
I am working on a Young Adult Fantasy Trilogy. This is my first attempt into this foray and I’m having SO much fun. The first book has been edited, the second book has been written and the third book is in the planning stage. I’m aiming for June, July and August releases for the three books.
Here’s the cover and blurb for the first one:
Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.
Then a star begins to fall.
Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.
Then a star begins to fall.
Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.
Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown.
Excerpt from Unknown (The Elements Trilogy: Book 1):
“Jethro!” Kyla slapped him on the arm and leaned against the grate, patting her chest. With narrowed eyes, she shot him a glare. “So this is how it is now? You don’t have the decency to talk to me in public, but you do take time out of your precious day to come scare the life out of me down in this foul-smelling tunnel.”
A slow, easy smile lit Jethro’s face. “Where have you been?”
“Why do you even care?”
Jethro’s brawny frame leaned against the stone wall behind him. His eyes glimmered with a knowing smile. “Let’s see, a bow slung over your shoulder, a quiver full of arrows… so not hunting then. I’m guessing target practice,” he clicked his fingers, “in the clearing by the waterhole.”
Kyla bit back a smile.
“How’d you do?”
She raised her chin. “I would have split your arrow in two.”
Jethro’s dark eyebrows jumped up with approval as he nodded his head. “Is that all you got up to?”
“Jethro, what are you doing here?” Kyla snapped.
“I just came to warn you.”
Jethro frowned, making Kyla’s stomach clench.
“Queen Elaina is wondering why she saw her daughter being chased out of the forest by a guard of Ashan when she should have been studying world history with her tutor.”
Kyla stood up straight and swallowed. “My mother did not see. She’s always at prayers this time of day.”
“She was delayed.” Jethro winced.
The blood drained from Kyla’s face. Biting her lips together, she pulled the bow over her head and cleared her throat.
“You might want to present yourself to her before she has every man in the castle looking for you.”
With a child-like groan, Kyla gripped the end of her bow and rolled her eyes. “Fine.” Slumping her shoulders, she spun away from freedom and started stomping towards the dungeons.
“You may want to go past your chambers on the way. Perhaps tidy up a little?”
She came to an abrupt stop and slowly spun back to face the boy she’d known since birth. “Excuse me?”
Jethro’s lips fought with a grin as he pushed himself off the wall and sauntered towards her. “Just because you hate wearing dresses doesn’t mean she won’t expect to see you in one.” He pointed at the attire she had stolen from her brother years ago. She kept it hidden in a trunk at the end of her bed and only pulled it out when she was sneaking from the castle. If only her mother knew how comfortable they were, she wouldn’t insist on mountains of material that were impossible to run in.
“You’re already in for her wrath.” Jethro tipped his head. “You will only antagonise her more by appearing like this.”
Kyla pushed her tongue against the side of her mouth then huffed. “You know I hate you.”
“With the fire a thousand suns?”
Laughter burst from her mouth before she could stop it. “And more!” She punched him on the arm, missing the familiar banter they used to share as children. The amount of times he had driven her to screams of rage with his playful teasing, but a few punches later and they had been best friends again. She often wondered what had happened between them and wished they could return to past days.
As if Jethro could read her mind, he stepped back from her, the playful smile replaced with a new seriousness she did not care for. “You should get moving.”
Golden Blood: FREE
Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected.
Gemma’s parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be “used and abused”, as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew… Harrison Granger.
Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can’t stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.
The second book in the Time Spirit Trilogy
Third book in the Time Spirit Trilogy
Forbidden Territory (co-authored with Brenda Howson)
Mica and Lexy have been best friends and next door neighbours since they were eight years old. They share everything and have no secrets from each other until… Tom arrives on Mica’s doorstep – a gorgeous exchange student from England. And Lexy is smitten.
Suddenly both girls are keeping secrets. Mica is hiding news about Tom’s English girlfriend and Lexy hasn’t got the heart to tell her best friend that her brother Eli, the guy Mica is mad on, thinks of her as only a friend.
After a massive fight, the girls decide the best way to mend their friendship is to spend some quality time together. And what better way than to go camping away from their parents and why not invite along the guys they are crushing on.
So the four teenagers embark on a geo-caching expedition into New Zealand’s native bush expecting a long weekend filled with flirtatious fun; instead secrets are exposed as they stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its gun-wielding watchmen. Forced apart they spend the next forty-eight hours racing blindly in opposite directions as they fight to find each other before the hunters do.
Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.
Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.
Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?
So now that you have some great new books to add to your reading list, check out the other author blogs on the YA Indie Carnival for some peeks into other author reading lists, author interviews, writing tips, or just chatting about your favorite YA novels!
And see What’s New at the YA Author Club for up and coming new novels, cover reveals, new releases, and book events!