Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Melody Carlson | Exclusive Excerpt: THE CHRISTMAS SWAP
Author Guest / November 20, 2020

Hoping to escape the mother-­daughter conflict that was about to escalate to a new level, Emma hurried outside. Pausing on the snow-­covered path to the driveway, she allowed fat snowflakes to fall on her, even catching a couple with her tongue. Snow couldn’t hurt you. She looked all around, taking in the other large homes, beautifully blanketed in snow, and the mountains behind them. This place was truly magical! As she walked up the driveway, she spotted what looked like a caretaker’s cottage and slowly approached it. Hopefully the ol’ grump wasn’t as bad as Gillian had described. Holding her breath, she tentatively knocked on the door, expecting a gray, grisly old man to answer. To her surprise, a younger man opened the door. Dressed in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, he stared at her with a puzzled expression. She suddenly wondered if she’d knocked on the wrong door. She smiled stiffly. “Sorry to bother you. I—I was looking for the caretaker, and I thought this was the right—” “Yeah, yeah.” He studied her with a furrowed brow. “This is, uh, the caretaker’s cottage.” She blinked. “Oh, so . . . are you the caretaker?” For some reason this guy didn’t…

Melody Carlson | Exclusive Interview: THE HAPPY CAMPER
Author Guest / March 6, 2020

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Melody! Can you tell us about yourself and your new book, THE HAPPY CAMPER?         I’m a writer who loves camping. <grin> Also, I love restoration and décor. So anyway, a few years ago, I was a bit writing-weary when I happened to notice an old vintage trailer ‘for sale’ by the side of the road. The price was right and the 1963 camp trailer was cute…so I bought it and began to restore it. While restoring it, the idea for this book began to tickle my brain. Shortly afterward, I was writing THE HAPPY CAMPER.  Dillon Michaels makes a major life change by moving to her grandfather’s farm, and then into his old camper. What do you think readers will find relatable in Dillon’s choices to change her life? I think we’ve all hit crossroads in life–times when either circumstances or desires nudge us in a new direction. Both are the case for Dillon. She’s disenchanted with her demanding job, non-committal boyfriend, small shared apartment…and ripe for a change. She thinks Grandpa’s farm and his need for help is the answer, but when she arrives the situation has changed. Dillon has…

Melody Carlson | Title Challenge: CHRISTMAS IN WINTER HILL
Author Guest / December 20, 2019

In a Title Challenge, authors are tasked with coming up with words starting with each letter of their title that relater to their book. Today is Melody Carlson’s turn for her festive holiday romance!  C is for Christmas, and plays a big part. H is for heroine and a hurting heart. R is for risk, Krista leaves in late fall. I is for ideals, a better life for all. S is for surprise, nothing feels right. T is for tomorrow, and hoping it’s bright. M is for mom, Krista hopes to do good. A is for angst, doesn’t go as it should. S is for sweetness, her dear little girl. A is for amazed, Emily loves their new world. T is for thanks to friends who help out. W is for woes that make Krista shout. I is for interest from a wonderful guy. N is for night and lights in the sky. T is for troubles, should she run away? E is for Emily, begs Mom to stay. R is for reasons, Krista has many. H is for hope, is there reason for any? I is for impossible, can this be real! L is for laughter, the best way…

Melody Carlson | Growing Old… Graciously
Author Guest / March 15, 2019

I’m often asked where my book ideas come from and, quite honestly, they come from too many sources to list. I’m one of those people who can imagine almost any situation as a novel. And I really do believe that every person walking the planet has a unique and interesting story . . . if you dig deeply enough. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever run out of material to write about. And since I plan to keep writing until I’m, say, a hundred, I should have sufficient inspiration to keep me going. Speaking of growing old, the story idea of Courting Mr. Emerson was inspired by the simple fact that we are all aging. It’s simply a fact of life. As a ‘baby-boomer,’ I’m constantly confronted with this news via obnoxious email ads for anti-aging products like hearing aids or granny-diapers. I also get unwanted letters from AARP and a multitude of other “gentle” reminders that seem determined to remind me that I’m “of a certain age.” Not to mention some aches and pains I didn’t have twenty years ago. So, okay, I get the hint already. As a result, I sometimes find myself observing other aging “baby-boomers.” I probably…

Melody Carlson | Writing From My Favorite Era
Author Guest / September 22, 2017

I’ve always had a fascination with the 1940’s. Whether it’s related to glamorous fashion, big band music, fabulous films, or a generation that rolled up their sleeves to fight an extremely important war, this era never fails to tug at my heart. In fact, my very first books (The Allison O’Brian Chronicles) were set in post World War II forties. At the time my research relied on memories of family members who’d lived through those years. And I must admit it was fun and educational to ‘interview’ my mom and relatives—many who are gone now. Nearly twenty years would pass before I wrote about the 1940’s again. That came in the form of The Mulligan Sisters (an adult series about a large Irish family living in San Francisco during WW 2). This time, my research was much easier. With access to the internet, all this historical information was instantly available at my fingertips. I’m so grateful for those who took the time to tell their stories and record their experiences. Especially considering how so many of those heroes (from the battlefront as well as the home-front) have passed on. I felt like a treasure-hunter as I unearthed all sorts of…

Melody Carlson | The Ups and Downs of Small Towns
Author Guest / March 14, 2014

Sometimes I’m asked why so many of my books are set in small towns. Well, the answer is simple—it’s because I live in small towns. My husband and I divide our time between a very small “mountain” town (population less than 3,000) and a slightly larger (but still quite small) “beachy” town. Yeah, I know it’s rough. <g> But the truth is—it is not for everyone. For instance, there’s definitely limited shopping options and restaurant selections. Sometimes that gets old. And if you want to make a fast run to the grocery store (which is overpriced) plan on taking your time because you will run into someone you know. Also, you don’t want to go slumming unless you want someone to start spreading rumors that you’re having “difficulties.” Really, it’s surprising how many people can’t handle the whole small town thing. Oh, sure they think it’s “charming” at first, but it can wear thin for some folks. I know because we’ve been here almost twenty years and we’ve seen people come…and go. However, life in a small town is different in the fictional world. I’m able to create small towns that are similar to my town, but with my fictional…