Thursday, October 20, 2011

An Entangled Halloween with Melanie Card and Ward Against Death Giveaway

Thank you Roxanne for inviting me to your blog today. I’m excited to be here. The theme is Halloween and I spent a long drive home contemplating what I’d write. Halloween means a lot of things to me: candy, spooky stories, and dress up, to name a few, but I think the thing I love the most about it is the mood. I’m not talking horror movies and gore—I’m not really a big fan of that, I tend to scare easily—I’m talking about the sense of dark mystery.

The car ride home, alone, in the dark, was what sparked this. The day had been warm, the last dying burst of summer. With a beautiful clear sky the evening’s chill had nothing to stop it from sweeping in as soon as twilight fell and fog now sat, coiled, in the low-lying areas of the country road. It curled up from the ditches on either side, slithering ethereal tendril across the asphalt that caught in my headlight and tore apart as I passed through.

The light from the crescent moon cast deep shadows among the countryside. Fields of yet-to-be harvested corn stood sentinel to my left, tall enough to hide a man or monster. Trees to my right reached naked branches toward them. If I was on foot, perhaps on horseback (in my writing time period of choice—faux Renaissance), I’d feel the bite of the wind, carrying the promise of winter only a month or so away. The branches would creak, the dying leaves scratching and hissing against each other. The corn would also rattle, the dead dry stalking standing only because they haven’t realized their season was over.

In this darkness and the dry rattle of death yet unrealized hide those things we don’t want to acknowledge but can’t deny. Evil, maliciousness, struggle, torment, and the inevitable end. They carry with them questions we can’t answer or, even worse, answers we fear. And just as I prefer music in a minor key, I’m drawn to these questions, to the sense of heavy darkness and what lies beyond.

The road sweeps up and around a curve and cutting through the fog and the darkness is a glimmer of warm light. It’s small but certain. A modest beacon on a white house at the end of a long laneway offering welcome and the promise that good lies within the deepest night.

I suppose this reveals I’m a romantic at heart. Even on the darkest night, with the darkest monsters watching, there is hope—this hope is one of the themes I write over and over again. This little anecdote certainly shows how susceptible I am to mood and imagery. It probably means I shouldn’t be taking the back roads home after dark once fall hits.

Don’t get me wrong, I love bright sunny images and moods, too. But there’s just something about a foggy Halloween night that excites the storyteller in me.

Thanks again Roxanne for having me today.

Tell me readers- Do you have a favorite image or mood?

Title: Ward Against Death
Author: Melanie Card
Genre: New Adult/Upper YA Fantasy
Length: Novel – 285 pgs
Release Date: August 2, 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-08-4
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-09-1

Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

Get your copy of Ward Against Death at:

About the Author

Melanie has always been drawn to story telling and can't remember a time when
she wasn’t creating a story in her head. Her early stories were adventures with
fairies and dragons and sword swinging princesses.

Today she continues to spin tales of magic in lands near and far, while her cat sits
on the edge of her desk and supervises. When she’s not writing, you can find her
pretending to be other people with her local community theatre groups.

Connect with Melanie:

Answer Melanie's question: Do you have a favorite image or mood?

To be entered to win an ecopy of Ward Against Death

Just leave a comment with your email


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Wow! You make my well-lit office feel all creepy now. LOL

I definitely prefer an adventurous mood to an eerie one, but each has its place, and October is definitely the time for eerie. :)

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful word image you gave for Halloween, Melanie!

I do love eerie moods. The dark. Things that go bump in the night. There is something mysterious, spooky about fog drifting through a forest. I like forest imagery, even in the sunshine.

cherie.reich (at)

Boone Brux said...

That gave me chills. I'd have to say my favorite mood it happy, joking, family and friend mood. Could be caused from excessive alcohol, or not. Can't rule out a good spine tingled in a book though. Love it.

JenM said...

I love the color yellow because it evokes sunshine and happiness. If I'm feeling down, I just think of yellow things, or look at yellow images and it always cheers me up.

jen at delux dot com

Elizabeth Irvin said...

I love calm, peaceful but yet a bit of mystery to my mood.
I will sometimes go walking through my local cemetery just to get that feeling. Makes my mind wander into the unknown and it gets me interested in my surrounding history. I probably sound dark and demented saying I like to wander around cemetery's but that's ok I guess I am a little. It's just so peaceful and calm. Put's things in perspective.

donnas said...

I love sunset with the sky all blues and purples. It just makes me happy and its so cool looking.

I do like dark, stormy nights and eerie moons and fog covered roads and trees though as well. It makes it the perfect time to read a spooky story.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Melanie Card said...

Thanks Roxanne for inviting me here today. Elizabeth, I guess I’m dark and demented since I love wandering around cemeteries, too.

Kathryn Merkel said...

The description of your drive sounds like one I experienced just last week driving home from my aunts house out in the country. Very vivid word pictures.

Me, I love to watch thunderstorms with dramatic lightning strikes & swaying treetops from somewhere warm & cozy.

books4me said...

I prefer an adventurous, positive mood to all others!

books4me67 at

Debby said...

I love the waves crashing on rocks. It really impresses me with the poer of nature.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Julie S said...

I like a fast paced but mysterious mood where you don't know what will happen next, but know it will be awesome.

Tore said...

I love happy moods and I love blue and green. Please enter me in contest.

Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

I'm a snow bunny, so my favorite is looking out in the dark of night when there's a thick layer of fresh snow and the moon is shining through bare trees that look more like skeletal remains than something that's just asleep for the season. The moonlight sparkles merrily on the snow, but in the dead grip of the trees, you can feel something watching.

Yto said...

i like it when it's dark - i am like a bat XD i pretty much hate it when it's sunny and love the rain and snow. i like to cuddle up in my bed with a book with only the barest of light.

witchvela at web dot de

Jen B. said...

I like the grey in a story. Sure, sunshine and bunnies is great but the nitty gritty stuff happens during the grey (if you know what I mean).

Elizabeth Irvin said...

I love calm, peaceful but yet a bit of mystery to my mood.
I will sometimes go walking through my local cemetery just to get that feeling. Makes my mind wander into the unknown and it gets me interested in my surrounding history. I probably sound dark and demented saying I like to wander around cemetery's but that's ok I guess I am a little. It's just so peaceful and calm. Put's things in perspective.

P.s. I would like to be entered in the contest. If I didn't mention before.