Posts Tagged ‘Melanie Harlow’

I’m the crazy girl in the middle of two different kinds of blog tours today. The first is for my debut novel, Dearest Clementine, which released on Friday. I’ll be posting more about that later today. I got tagged for the second one by my BFF and critique partner, AJ Pine, an Entangled Embrace author. She asked me to participate in My Writing Process Blog Tour, which is an opportunity for authors to share how they write. AJ just released her debut novel, If Only, last month. (You can check out her post here.)

The way the writing tour works is I’ll answer a few questions about my process, and at the end, I’ll tag a couple of writers to continue the tour next week. Here are the questions:

1. What am I working on?DC_FRONT_FINAL_REV

I’ve been busy creating teasers for Dearest Clementine, which released a few days ago on Amazon. It’s the story of a senior in college who accidentally signs up to take a romance writing course, but she knows she’s in for a semester of hell. Not only does she hate romance novels, she swore off men three years ago after her high school boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. Luckily for her, Gavin Murphy, one very sexy and sweet RA, wants to help her find a little inspiration for her writing.

I’m also editing the follow-up, Finding Dandelion, a companion novel, which is Jax’s story. Clementine and her twin brother Jax are polar opposites. While Clem wants a drama-free existence, Jax just wants a good time, which generally means being the center of attention. When his story starts, he’s fully embracing his “boys will be boys” approach to life, which means banging anything with long legs and double Ds. The only girls he won’t touch are his sister’s roommates, which he learned long ago only means trouble. Of course, he hasn’t met Clem’s newest roommate, Dani. Yet.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Sometimes there’s a tendency to depict wounded characters as being weak. And that can work. I’ve read lots of great books that develop those types of story lines well. What irks me, though, are the characters who have tragic backgrounds and then whine about it. I wanted Clementine to be the antithesis of that. I wanted her to be tough and gritty and hardened. But I also thought it would be interesting if that strength was also her flaw. For Clem, she’s so independent and strong-willed that she has to learn to let go, to trust people again, and to open herself up to being vulnerable. I also like a side order of mystery with my romances, so I try to weave in a little.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Honestly, it’s my escape. Four years ago, I received a devastating diagnosis for my twin daughters, who were 9 months at the time. It leveled me, and I needed something to help me off the ledge.

I love to read. I can devour a book in an evening. I had been going through a huge YA kick at the time, which works since I’m an English teacher in my parallel life. I’d been toying with writing a YA paranormal romance, so in between a dozen hospital stays with my girls, I dove in and wrote it. And while I loved the finished story, I knew it I could write something better. Deciding that I needed a break from YA, I started writing Dearest Clementine, a contemporary NA romance.

It’s ironic that something so devastating could push me to do something I’d always wanted to do but was too chicken to try. My girls are doing a little better now, and while I didn’t write some great defining work of art, I’m pretty proud of myself. Of my girls and my family. Of our unwillingness to go down quietly. Because now I’m editing my third book and writing my fourth. Not too shabby. 🙂

4. How does my writing process work?

I started out as a pantser, meaning I didn’t outline, which did not work well for my YA novel. Although I fared better with Dearest Clementine, by the time I wrote Finding Dandelion, I figured I could spare myself a little agony and decided to beat sheet. My critique partner introduced me to a few different types, and I use a combination of them to outline.

Although I construct the bulk of my stories in Scrivener, I love to long-hand scenes. If something comes to me when I’m not in front of my laptop, I’ll grab a pen and go at it. Interestingly, some of the scenes I’ve jotted down in a Moleskine or a plain sheet of paper are my strongest.

Because I typically juggle a couple of projects at the same time, I keep a calendar that’s color-coded by novel, so I can keep track of the how the plots develop. Dearest Clementine and Finding Dandelion start at the same time and completely overlap, and this was the easiest way to keep all of the details straight. Lastly, I have three amazing CPs I rely on in an almost religious way. For me, they’re the holy grail of feedback.

 * * * * * * *

Next Monday, the tour moves on to feature my fabulously talented friends Melanie Harlow and Brandi Leigh Hall.



Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.

Her newest release is Frenched.






Brandi Leigh Hall is a YA and NA author, whose stories lean towards the sweeter side of romance. Her novels combine magical elements with real-life issues, strong female characters, semi-old-fashioned men, and family values, woven together and told from an organic and emotional, first-person perspective.

Growing up in a haunted house in Central PA inspired Brandi’s fascination with the paranormal, so it only made sense she’d write Urban Fantasy for both teens and adults. Book 1 in The BirthRight Series, TETHERED, debuted this past Halloween, while book 2, TEMPTED, is scheduled for release on May 27th.


FRENCHED by Melanie Harlow

March 18, 2014
A  Sexy Adult Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Mia Devine plans over-the-top weddings for a living. So when it comes to her own nuptials, she spares no expense—hand engraved invitations, Vera Wang gown, luxury honeymoon in France. And since her fiancé is Tucker Branch, playboy heir and notorious flirt, local media is obsessed with every little detail.

Which is why it really sucks when he jilts her a week before the wedding.

Mortified, Mia wants nothing more than to crawl under her newly monogrammed sheets and plan a funeral for her dignity, right after blabbing to the world how fitting it is that Tucker will inherit a bolt and screw company, because that’s all he wants to do—screw, and bolt. And he doesn’t do either with much finesse.

When her friends convince her that bitter tastes better when it’s drowned in Bordeaux, she grits her teeth and packs her bags, determined to make the best of a week in Paris alone.

She never planned on meeting Lucas Fournier.

The free-spirited musician’s scruffy good looks and less-than-sympathetic ear annoy her at first, but when she takes him up on his offer to show her around the city, she discovers that the romance of Paris isn’t just a myth.

Nor is the simultaneous O.

The last thing Mia needs is another doomed love affair, but since she only has a week, she figures she might as well enjoy La Vie en O with Lucas while she can. But each day—and night—with him is better than the last, and suddenly her heart is telling her this is more than a rebound fling.

Is it just the seduction of Paris…or could this be the real thing?

Nine Facts about FRENCHED by Melanie Harlow

1)   The main character in Frenched, Mia Devine, loves to make lists for everything, and I do too! So making this list is totally fun for me. 🙂

2)   The bar Mia wanders into in the Latin Quarter (where she meets Lucas) is based on a real Canadian sports bar in Paris called The Moose. In Frenched, I called it…The Beaver. (This gives you a good idea of my sense of humor.)

3)   The restaurant Lucas takes her to is based on a real Italian restaurant in the Latin Quarter called Marco Polo—one of my favorite restaurants in Paris!

4)   There is one photo in the book: it’s a picture I took in the Musee Rodin the last time I was there of a beautiful sculpture called The Cathedral. (In the book it plays a role in a somewhat dirty moment between Mia and Lucas…)

5)   You can stay in Lucas’s Paris apartment! I found the inspiration for Lucas’s St. Germain neighborhood apartment on Vacation Rentals By Owner. Here’s the link: (Wish I could put Lucas in there for you!)

6)   You can also stay in the villa Lucas takes her to in Provence. I based it on this one: Not bad, huh? I’ll meet you there for drinks on the pool deck…

7)   Lucas and Mia fall for each other pretty fast, and while I’m not sure about love at first sight, I do believe you can love someone within a short amount of time. I believe some people just have a connection that they feel right away.

8)   There is quite a bit of sex in Frenched because it is such an important part of their chemistry, but I think my favorite one is the shower scene—Mia has a pretty big revelation at that point. However, the scene in the bedroom at the villa (the one involving the neck tie, ahem) was ridiculously fun to write…that’s a favorite too.

9)   I’d love to continue their story somehow, either in a novella or another full-length novel, but the next book in the series will focus on Mia’s friend Coco, who falls for a chef/restaurateur who’s strictly off limits. It’s called…Forked. 🙂

About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. I write New Adult historical and contemporary stories.



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