Thursday, July 24, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger, Melanie Atkins

Location, Location, Location

My great aunt’s house in tiny Braxton, Mississippi terrified me when I was a child. It‘s a big, white, rambling structure built in the early 1920’s, with lots of nooks and crannies, creaky doors, and hardwood floors. A beautiful old place, now that it’s been fixed up and sold. But then? I would spend the weekend there a couple of times a year when my parents went out of town, and I’d be up all night, clenching the sheets in fear. Looking for ghosts and expecting someone to jump out of the closet.

So when I needed a creepy house to use as the backdrop for my July 25th Cobblestone Press release, HAUNTED MEMORIES, I immediately thought of that house. I added a second floor and moved it to the fictional town of Strong Springs to make it fit my story, but it’s basically the same place, complete with the old cistern out back. I changed it to a well in my book, but that’s okay. What’s fiction without a bit of literary license?

The description of the outside of the house, minus the second story, however, is the same. At least, it was the last time I saw the place. It’s no longer in the family and I haven’t driven by it in years. Throw in a fictional evil stepfather, a listing old barn, secret passageways, a root cellar--which the old house really has--and a dog…and there you go. A story is born. All I had to do to help build the suspense was remember all the nights I spent in that antique four-poster bed scared out of my wits. Wasn’t hard to imagine Walter lurking in the corner, hiding the cellar, or leering in at me from the window.

If you’d like to take a look at that old house from the inside out, I invite you to check out HAUNTED MEMORIES when it’s released. This book has been out in both e-book and print formats before, but has been re-edited and lengthened a bit for Cobblestone Press. I’m very excited about it. HAUNTED MEMORIES is the first book I ever sold…and to have it available again--with a fabulous new cover by Tuesday Dube--is a dream come true.

The book received great reviews the first time around. Nadine St. Denis of Romance Junkies gave it 4.5 Blue Ribbons and said, "HAUNTED MEMORIES by the talented Melanie Atkins is a taunt and edgy novel that will thrill and chill all who read it! Incredible characters, graphic scenes, combustible passion, and a suspense that never loses momentum, make this thriller a must have for all romance suspense lovers." And Mary Connealy of Romantic Times Booklovers Magazine said, "Atkins keeps the tension turned up high and gives her heroine just enough self-doubt to make her stay when common sense tells her to run. The story never drags..."

Also available from Cobblestone Press:

Coming soon:

3 deadly screams:

Sarah said...

Great post, Melanie! Thank you for blogging with us. I really liked your post, especially since I've stayed in a couple of really old homes, too. One was duplex built in the 1920s, and the other was built in probably the 1900s or so. Both places made me nervous, especially wondering about if anyone had ever died there, which would be really creepy! Yikes! All of that time passing... you never know.

I guess I watch too many scary movies! lol =)

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Melanie! This was a great post and it was such an honor to have you blog with us.

I've mentioned before that I grew up in a house that had a spirit in it. My mother and I still talk about him occassionally, so I found your blog very interesting and a fun read.

Have a great weekend!

Melanie Atkins said...

Thanks for the comments, and for allowing me to blog with The Deadly Vixons! It was fun!