Teaser Tuesday—The Return

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Hi Everyone!

First, a little update. I finished writing my third novel in May and have spent the last few months editing and taking the necessary steps toward publication, which will FINALLY happen this Fall. But in the meantime, how about a little teaser from the new book? This novel does have a title, I promise. I’m just attempting to draw out the suspense as long as I can.  😉

And now, without further ado, here is a sneak peek taken from Chapter 1, The Return.

(2) First Teaser Tuesday Post--8-14-17

As you can see, things are definitely afoot. Or, rather, apaw.

I’ll be posting another teaser next week. Hope you enjoyed this one!

All the best,

~Melika

Fourteen years ago today…

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…I began working on what would become City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier. I can still see myself sitting on the floor in my spare room, rough-drafting the outline of the novel while listening to Lifehouse’s Hanging by A Moment:

*sniffles nostalgically* This song ended up becoming Ilyse and Ian’s anthem to me, and was a tremendous source of inspiration over the eight months I spent writing their story. It is still a huge inspiration to me so many years later, and is probably the most-played song on my iPod till this day.  🙂

Oh, and if City of Lights ever becomes a movie, I am so getting the Lifehouse guys’ permission to use that song on the soundtrack.  😉

Best wishes,

~Melika

 

Getting to know you!

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Hi everyone!

Be honest…the title of this post has now got that song from the King and I spinning through your head, right? 😉 Anyway, I was scrolling through my old blog posts today, and came upon an interview I did a few years ago. I had so much fun answering these questions, and decided to dust it off and update it with more current info, so it would be ready to see the light of day once again.

I hope you enjoy getting a little peek into my world–and all it’s attendant zaniness, er, um, uniqueness! 😉

Cheers!

~Melika

1. Favorite song/singer?

My favorite song is usually whatever I’m listening to while writing. Sometimes, a scene calls for absolute silence, while at others, it’s nice to have something pumping in the background to get the ideas flowing. For City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier, I listened to Lifehouse’s Hanging by A Moment. This song was a tremendous inspiration for me and became Ilyse and Ian’s anthem. For Corcitura, I listened mainly to Promentory from the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack when I was writing dramatic/conflict or chase scenes (the constant beat really helped focus my thoughts) and then Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis when I wrote a death scene for one of the vampires in the book. Given the sanguinary nature of the lyrics, I thought it was appropriate. 😉

For the novel I am nearly finished writing (One chapter to go, HUZZAH!), it’s epic music all the time. This final chapter is battle-heavy, and music such as this puts me in a suitably warmongering mood. 😉

Celine Dion has been my favorite singer since I was eight years old. I was lucky enough to see her in concert at Caesar’s Palace in 2005. Some singers sound terrible live, but Celine sounded amazing, even better than she does on her CDs. She was also really interactive and did quite a bit of dancing and kept up an incredible energy and excitement level throughout the whole show. It was a tremendous experience, and one that I’ll never forget! I also have recently become a fan of Michael Bublé, with my favorite of his songs being Feeling Good. It’s so James Bondish and awesome and just AHH!

2. Favorite season?

Definitely fall. Just the feel of it. You can almost sense that it’s time to break out The Turn of the Screw for a millionth reread. Or is that just me? I love the crispness in the air, the glorious burnt orange and golden hued leaves, the carte blanche you have to read all the horror/Halloweeney books you want and classify them as “seasonal reading” without making everyone wonder if you’ve been bitten by a vampire and developed rather bloodthirsty reading tastes. Plus, fall also means I get to bake these delicious chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies that have become a tradition with me over the last ten years.

3. Worst vacation?

I haven’t had one yet, thankfully, although when I visited Paris in 2004, my hotel room was the size of a shoebox. There was also only ONE iron in the entire hotel, as I discovered when the concierge knocked on my door the second day I was there and asked for it back! But that’s beside the point. The important thing was, I was in Paris, and apart from the smallness of the hotel, the location was fantastic! I spent most of my time seeing the sights and wandering around the Rue de Rivoli, making daily stops at W. H. Smith English Booksellers. They were running a 2 for £5 and 3 for £10 sale, so I stocked up on all the UK Penguin editions of the Jeeves novels that weren’t available back home. I would go back to Paris (And London, too!) just to shop there.

4. Guilty pleasure?

British detective & mystery shows. I can’t get enough of them! Midsomer Murders was the show that launched me on this trajectory seven years ago, and I haven’t looked back since, moving on to Miss Marple (with Joan Hickson), Campion, Inspector Alleyn, Rosemary & Thyme, and Inspector Lewis, which is a real favorite. As if visiting the haunts of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien weren’t incentive enough to go to Oxford, there is now the added chance that I might bump into Robbie Lewis and Jamie Hathaway while they are on a case. 😉 I also recently discovered Father Brown, and am hooked!

5. Favorite book and/or author?

David Copperfield. I read this book close to twenty years ago and can still quote passages and remember scenes vividly. All the suffering and hardships this young 19th century Englishman endured and all the mistakes he made in love and in life transcended the ages and became so relevant to me, a preteen living in the United States in the 20th century. That is truly a testament to the genius of Charles Dickens. It is also what I think makes a book a classic—its timelessness.

My favorite author is Agatha Christie. I’ve devoured almost all of her novels, and do not know what I’m going to do when I have no more of them to read. Another author whose books are automatic buys is Sarah Rayne. Nobody does psychological horror/suspense quite like her. She’s amazing!

6. One item you cannot live without?

As a writer, this would definitely be…my laptop!!! I cannot even imagine writing a book, let alone a 700 page novel like Corcitura, in longhand. My admiration for Charlotte Bronte and Dickens especially (who was not known for his brevity) has skyrocketed ever since I became a writer. How did they do it?!

7. Hobby?

I’m a classically trained violinist, pianist, and soprano and have been performing since I was three. I wouldn’t call this a hobby, but for something completely frivolous and unbookish, I can probably recite the entire script of Jaws, complete with dialects and sound effects, and enhanced by the singing of various sea shanties. I can also do a pretty mean Gollum impersonation, precious.

8. Favorite movie/actor/actress?

Jaws. No question. I started watching Shark Week the year it premiered and became fascinated with Jaws around the age of five when I went to Pic ‘n Save and saw the movie poster. I didn’t see the movie in full until I was 15, but I can’t remember a moment when I wasn’t aware of Jaws. It’s been a part of my life for ages.

My other favorite movie is The Fellowship of the Ring. I love the whole trilogy, but The Fellowship (and Gandalf) had a direct bearing on my decision to become a writer, so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Favorite actor…hmm…how about we do a modern one and one from the past? Russell Crowe for modern (I love him in every movie I’ve seen him in, but am a huge fan of his historical epics Gladiator, Robin Hood, and Master & Commander), and Danny Kaye, who has provided me with countless hours of laughter since I was a kid. There are also many classic actors I’m a fan of, including Humphrey Bogart, Tyrone Power, James Cagney, Errol Flynn, and Gregory Peck.

Favorite actress…Judi Dench. Love her! Her movies are great, but I’m a huge fan of her BBC sitcom As Time Goes By. I can watch that show over and over again, and have. I own the complete series (plus the reunion specials) on DVD. It’s such a great show—like visiting with old friends.

I’m also a fan of several classic actresses, such as Greer Garson, Vivien Leigh, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara, Myrna Loy, & Grace Kelly, just to name a few.

9. Favorite food?

Anything that has cheese in it. I think I’m part mouse.

10. Who would you like to meet? (dead or alive?)

Can’t I invite them all over for a ghostly dinner party and count them as one? No? Ok, then, let me think. I’ll keep it in the authorial realm and settle on C. S. Lewis. Jack! The Chronicles of Narnia have been a constant source of inspiration across all areas of my life for many years. I’ve read and reread my copies of the books to ragged shreds. One of my favorite of Jack’s quotes is “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I would love to hear him talking about his thought process when creating such magnificent stories that are relevant to both young people and adults, since that is something that I strive to do in my own writing. I would also love to have a deep conversation with him about faith, God, and, of course…The Inklings! Ideally, this chat would take place between us in the “Rabbit Room” at The Eagle and Child. Then Jack could give me a tour of Oxford, where we might just run into Professor Tolkien—and I would make Tollers read the “Riddles in the Dark” scene from the Hobbit in Gollum’s voice. As you can see, I’m determined to meet at least one other person from my phantasmal dinner party. 😉

A Tavern in Venice

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Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I’ve been getting a lot of reader interest in Corcitura lately (Thank you!), and thought it was time to share a short excerpt. This scene comes from one of my favorite chapters in the whole book, and was actually one of the first scenes I wrote before being a good little author and writing the book in order from the beginning. Working chronologically…what a novel concept, eh? 😉

I hope you enjoy it!

Cheers,

~Melika

Short Excerpt

Taken from Corcitura, Chapter 8, A Tavern in Venice

    “A toast to you, my brother,” he said, lifting his glass. “May your eyes be opened on this night, and may you see as you have never seen before. Knowledge is a very powerful thing. Drink and be free.”
    Red light shot through the glass, red light reflected from the candle guttering in its holder above my head. My eyes darted up toward the ceiling. First impressions are tricky things, and mine had been wrong—horribly wrong. There were no angels in these panels. What had I been thinking before?
    Demons cavorted in a pit of rocks and shattered skulls. Fire licked their hellish bodies as they danced through one torture scene after another. In the center panel, a huge, black-winged beast devoured something that was still kicking as it was being forced down the devil’s gullet.
    How could it still be kicking? Or, more importantly, how could I see it kicking?
    The figures in the panel were moving.
    Their movements were slow, tortured, dreamlike, but real—undeniably real. I watched, entranced, unable to turn away, as one poor soul after another was raked across hot coals or had its ashen flesh stripped by one of the devil’s overseers.
    I put my hand to my mouth, but still my eyes remained riveted to the ceiling. The other panels did nothing to cure my nausea. Eleven horned beasts—looking like crosses between satyrs and devils—formed a circle around a giant creature, half dragon, half man, that held a severed head aloft in its clawed hands. Blood dripped from the stump, falling into the waiting mouths of some of the beasts, as the others caught the liquid in black chalices.
    The fresco was blatantly hellish, but its living replica was even worse.
    I had lied to myself from the very beginning, deceived myself into believing that I was being fanciful and overly imaginative. Surely such monstrosities only existed in nightmares? Yet I had lived through a nightmare these past months, and that was no dream at all.
    I was still fighting against the awful truth, not wanting to give in, searching my mind for a logical explanation—but there was none. And the most horrible realization of all was that I had known, somewhere deep inside, ever since the day I first set eyes on that silver-tongued devil in Paris.
    Plague carrier.
    Living death.
    Drainer of life.
    The phrasing did not matter. No euphemism could strike fear into the hearts of men the way that single word could.
    Vampire.
    And for me, the uninitiated, that single word meant death.

(c) 2010, 2012, 2017 by Melika Dannese Lux

News & an Updated Author Page

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Hello!

Wow! Was the last time I posted really almost three years ago? I have a good reason for being away so long, actually, and, of course, it has to do with books!

I am happy to report that after almost 2 1/2 years of writing, my third book is nearly complete! I only have about four chapters left to finish the inaugural book in a series of four dark fantasy/mystery/supernatural/historical novels that serve as prequels to a fantasy trilogy I started writing back in 2003. I can’t wait to launch this first book in the series into the world! It is the best thing I’ve ever written. Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂

In other news, I updated my “About the Author” page to incorporate the changes in direction my writing has taken. I no longer write YA or NA novels, but now prefer to create stories that will appeal to everyone, regardless of their age or genre bracket. And as for Romance? I will have elements of it here and there in my novels, but it will no longer be anywhere near as plot-specific as it was in City of Lights. Regarding that book, and also Corcitura… In the coming months, there will be an exciting announcement about both of them and their radical new “looks.” And by looks, I’m not only talking about cover overhauls. Curious? Well, you will just have to sit tight until 2017 to find out what I’m hinting at. 😉 I can’t wait to share the news with you when the time is right, though!

As always, please feel free to contact me through this site. I love keeping in touch with my readers! 🙂

All the best,

Melika

Corcitura visits Because Reading is Better Than Real Life!

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Corcitura feature @ Because Reading is Better Than Real Life 12-2-13

Huge hugs and a big thank you to Michelle for having me back on her blog to chat about the origins of Corcitura! Think the vampire genre should have been staked long ago? Well, I beg to differ, and if you head on over to Michelle’s blog, you can read an article about how I wove werewolf & vampire mythology together to create an entirely new species of undead. And while you’re there, don’t forget to read a spooky teaser excerpt from the POV of Corcitura’s only female narrator!

Enjoy! 😀

All the best,

Me Sig!

 

 

 

 

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City of Lights Featured @ Because Reading is Better Than Real Life!

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COL Feature @ Because Reading is Better Than Real Life 11-25-13

A colossal thank you to Michelle for featuring City of Lights on her wonderful blog! To find out how Ilyse’s story was born from a song, and to read a special “backstage” excerpt, just click on the screen capture above.

Enjoy! 😀

All the best,

Me Sig!

 

 

 

 

P. S. And don’t forget to keep in touch!

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Corcitura visits the Emerald Isle!

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It’s official. My vampires have gone international! How about that? 😉 A HUGE thank you to the lovely and talented Emma Meade for featuring Corcitura today! To learn more about what inspired Corcitura, how I mapped out and created a 700 page “startling new take on the vampire mythos,” and also what made Emma say that my featured post was probably “her favourite” so far on her blog, just click on the link below!

http://emmameade.com/2013/11/04/guest-post-by-melika-dannese-lux-author-of-corcitura/

And be sure to read the comments, too! They’re fantastic! 😀

All the best,

Me Sig!

Last Chance to Win a Copy of Corcitura Before Halloween!

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Giveaway Banner

Many thanks to the fabulous Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction for featuring Corcitura this week—and creating such a spooktacular giveaway banner! And speaking of that banner…if you click on it, you will be taken to Jesse’s site, where you can read some behind-the-scenes info about Corcitura and also enter the giveaway for your chance to bring my vampires home! In a completely literary sense, of course. You wouldn’t want them to show up in the flesh. Trust me on this one. :}

Good luck! 😀

Best wishes,

Me Sig!

Exclusive Excerpt: Madelaine and the Vampires

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*drum roll* Well, here it is! I’ve been wanting to let Maddie have her say for the longest time, and, today, she speaks! Be sure to stop by Oh, For the Hook of a Book to read this never before released exclusive excerpt and “be there” as Maddie has a conversation with death and sees something familiar in the eyes of a wolf:

http://hookofabook.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/exclusive-creepy-excerpt-of-teaster-chapter-from-melika-luxs-corcitura-a-gothic-vampire-read/

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway before you leave!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTg4YjQzMDA1MjEzZWRlNTcyNmZkNjQyMzFkYjE2OjM=/

Best wishes,

Me Sig!