Vintage Romance Novel Covers

June 18th, 2012

A couple of years ago, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Mills and Boon did a pop up store in London, featuring vintage covers and books.

Since celebrating romance novels is like my bat signal, I ran to the store and took some pictures of the best of the displays. And then forgot I had them, until I was sorting my old SD cards. I figured I may as well share, since romance should never be hoarded (unlike cats, which I understand from TLC should be hoarded).

I can already tell I’m going to like this heroine. Look at her style! Her elegance! Her fashion sense! Not everyone can pull off the loyal-maid-attached-to-your-poofy-skirt accessory.

Using two mirrors at once=pride=teaching a girl a lesson. *cracks knuckles* No?

Aw. No snark, I like this one. I wish grooms still wore top hats.

I hope this hero grovels a lot, because I think he lied about being her stepsister.

…But maybe not your psychiatrist.


The old lady watching them adds a creep factor, but this is the best euphemism ever for virginity. “Hey girl. I know it’s your maiden flight, but as long as you remain seated with these handcuffs securely fastened, I’ll have you at cruising altitude in no time.”



Brittle Bondage: If 50 Shades, peanut brittle, and Miami Vice had a baby.



I think someone’s calling someone ugly here.



Because depressing titles sometimes sell the best.





Chronicling my love of carpenters and lumberjacks everywhere. ALL ROMANCES SHOULD BE ABOUT TIMBER MEN. FUCK BILLIONAIRES, PUBLISHERS. NEED MOAR FLANNEL.


…it was a different time, you guys.

*tries not to be squicked out by title*



I thought this was pretty when I assumed the lady was wearing one of those old timey bathing suits. But then I realized the heroine was in an evening gown and fixing her hair before committing suicide in the ocean she’s sitting in because the hero’s family snubbed her at the engagement party, held at their mansion, Silvertide, located in the Hamptons, and somehow the girl from Revenge showed up and was all incompetent in administering justice and the guy from Roswell was tending a bar and looking hot in flannel, which was nice, but couldn’t balance out the tragedy of the snubbing and SHE WAS PREGNANT WITH THE HEROES BABY BUT DIDN’T TELL HIM but thank God, she didn’t die, and the baby was born, but she didn’t tell the hero she was alive or about the baby because she was feisty! and could raise a baby with no help or financial support and paternal rights aren’t a thing! but the hero found them, and the son had the heroes eyes, so the hero knew she wasn’t a slut, and they lived happily ever after because he got amnesia and she accepted all the blame for everything always. Or so I assume.

Alisha Runs Amok , , ,

Amazing Mari Fee Steampunk Interview of Wonder!

June 20th, 2011

Mari Fee is a trooper. It seems like years ago that I lured her into doing an interview for the Scribbling Ninjas blog. She (unsuspecting and innocent) said yes. We did the interview—see below. I (unsuspecting and innocent) asked her what she wanted for her MS Paint artwork. Oh nothing much, she assured me. Just a steampunk octopus fighting bears with archeology tools while wearing boots on an airship…

Yeah. Not exactly simple.

It took me forever to finish drawing this. I kept pushing it back. I’d work on it a little, get frustrated because it sucked, and tried to pretend it didn’t exist. Tried to pretend Mari Fee didn’t exist. Suffered guilt. Couldn’t sleep. Starting drinking. I mean, starting drinking more. Life became exceedingly busy. I had edits to do. I had to shave my cat. I had to buy a barbeque. And THEN assemble it. It was easy to put off drawing that thrice-accursed airship. The airship that mocks me, even now, with its uninspired mediocrity, cementing in my mind forever the fact that I will always be a substandard MS Paint artist, and even angry bears cannot save the entire work from reeking of the banal.


But aside from that, everything’s peachy. Please read on and enjoy the interview with the wonderful Mari Fee. Info on her novella follows the interview. And you should seriously consider picking it up, because it’s good stuff.


Anyway, here’s the art. Don’t judge me. I’ve done that enough for the both of us.

(It’s a bit huge. Too large for this template. I’d click to see it in better detail.)

And here is a closer shot of the octopus and bears. Just because.

Keith Melton: (loaded question alert!) First off, why steampunk?

Mari Fee: Why not steampunk? Do you have something against it? 🙁 Steampunk likes you, you know.

Keith: I have nothing against it. Steampunk and me—we go waaaay back. At least six months. Which is 10,000,000 times my usual attention span. So anyway, will you be writing more steampunk? What do we have to look forward to?

Mari Fee: I have plans for a steampunk-archaeology mash-up in Egypt, with airships and archaeologists and hieroglyphics and possibly mules. It’s not quite ready to start writing yet, though. But when it is, it will be glorious.

Keith: Do you own custom goggles? (I was going to ask about corsets, but I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. I know how uncomfortable I get when people ask about my custom corsets…)

Mari Fee: My fiancé courted me by buying me a pair of mass produced welder’s goggles from a gas station. <3 As for custom corsets, I’m rather envious that you have one and I don’t. So is the fiancé.

Keith: When did you start reading steampunk? Do you remember your first contact with the genre?

Mari Fee: Oddly enough, I do! About 10 years ago I picked up this totally rad book by Martha Wells called Death of the Necromancer, and it turned out to be a pseudo-Victorian fantasy mystery adventure with dead fairies and pistols and explosions. TOTALLY AWESOME.

Other than that, I grew up with a well-thumbed copy of Journey to the Centre of the Earth and the complete Sherlock Holmes. Gotta have the basics.

Keith: Did you light something on fire when you received your Bluebeard’s Machine contract offer?

Mari Fee: No, although my fiancé did offer to buy fireworks. Basically anything is an excuse for fireworks.

Keith: You tend to write shorter stories, by your own admission. Do you have any plans to go novel length?

Mari Fee: Lots of words is scary! I’m having to retrain my brain to think in longer plots – my first instinct is tight and tidy stories. Chips and beer help sustain the imagination when the going gets tough – so yes, I’m currently attempting something novel length. So far it’s longer than Bluebeard’s Machine, which I count as a win.

Read more…

Keith Melton Interviews People, Keith Uses Paint, Wicked Awesome , , , ,

Twitter Turn-offs

June 8th, 2011

Every now and again on Twitter, I’ll go through and follow and unfollow a bunch of people. If I unfollow you, don’t take it personally. Likewise, I don’t take it personally when someone unfollows me. Twitter’s dynamic, not static.

However, a little while ago someone contacted me and demanded to know, in a snarky, confrontational, borderline douche-y way why I had stopped following her. I didn’t really know what to tell her, except maybe I unfollowed her because she was the type of person who would contact me afterward demanding explanations in a snarky, confrontational, borderline douche-y way.


But @snarkyconfrontationalborderlinedouchey got me thinking about some of my Twitter turn-offs. And then I drew some pictures with my dubious artistic skillz.

(I see some of you getting paranoid. Remember that I’m talking in terms of extremes and NOT YOU. We’ll have more fun that way.)


1) Spammer


The annoyance level of this one is high enough I felt I had to include it even though I probably wouldn’t be following you if you were a spammer, I’d block you from following me. You asshat.


2) Constant Promo


You GUYS. Constant promo is like spam’s baby nephew. Sure, tweet lines from your book. Tweet your release dates/publication news. Tweet your friend’s releases. But for god’s sake, engage beyond that, or you won’t be promo-ing effectively.


3) TMI


Hey, morning glory, I heard a story…Twitter is PUBLIC. *gasp*

There’s a fine line between being naughty/inappropriate and just excessively, constantly oversharing everything about your body/sex life. One can be cute and fun and funny, and the other can be uncomfortable.

I know it’s hard to resist. It hurts. You know what helps? I repress. Rai’s are real good at repression. Like the time I watched a certain scene in Jerry Maguire with my dad sitting next to me, or the time my mom tried to use a Meatloaf song to launch a discussion about the birds and the bees.

Mama Rai: “You know what he’s talking about, when he says he would do anything for love, but he won’t do that? Sex. He wouldn’t have premarital sex. Because you can die from it. If you aren’t married.”

I repressed! It works great. So the next time you feel the urge to put up an avi of your nipple, take all of that desire, shove it down deep, and write a sex scene with ping pong paddles. Trust me.


4) Chronic RTing


RTing is fun, isn’t it? But 40 inane RT’s without a break for any actual original content can get boring. RT responsibly.


5) Never Tweeter




6) It’s not you. It’s me.


Ah. This covers probably about 99% of the users I unfollow. You may be super fun and have interesting things to say, but I need to let you go right now. I may let you go, and keep someone who hits all of the pet peeves I listed above, but for some reason I want them to hang around a little longer. Maybe the time for us getting together isn’t right at the moment. Maybe I’ll come back to you later, and we’ll feel that click. Maybe I’m burned out. Maybe I just need a change. It’s not you. Really. It’s me. Now baby, please don’t…here. I’ll get the check.

Alisha Runs Amok, Bad Paint, Random Junk ,


February 5th, 2011

It saddens me to say that my friend Alisha Rai was once viciously attacked by London/UK pigeons for no apparent reason. Thus it became my solemn duty to draw a picture of Alisha battling an Evil Pigeon to memorialize the occasion for all time.


This is a warning to all aggressive pigeons. Back off, you bastards!

Also, I thought I’d share the “art” with which I attempted to bribe the artist Kanaxa into doing my cover art. She thought my skills were so lacking that she agreed to do my cover out of sheer pity.


Thanks, Kanaxa! More of her cover art can be found here:

Oh, yeah. And I wrote a book that may or may not be funny/amusing/completely-off-the-rails-stupid. It releases on February 15th. It can be found here:

Here’s the blurb for The Zero Dog War

The first bullet is always free. After that, you gotta pay.

Zero Dog Missions, Book 1

After accidentally blowing up both a client facility and a cushy city contract in the same day, pyromancer and mercenary captain Andrea Walker is scrambling to save her Zero Dogs. A team including (but not limited to) a sexually repressed succubus, a werewolf with a thing for health food, a sarcastic tank driver/aspiring romance novelist, a three-hundred-pound calico cat, and a massive demon who really loves to blow stuff up.

With the bankruptcy vultures circling, Homeland Security throws her a high-paying, short-term contract even the Zero Dogs can’t screw up: destroy a capitalist necromancer bent on dominating the gelatin industry with an all-zombie workforce. The catch? She has to take on Special Forces Captain Jake Sanders, a man who threatens both the existence of the team and Andrea’s deliberate avoidance of romantic entanglements.

As Andrea strains to hold her dysfunctional team together long enough to derail the corporate zombie apocalypse, the prospect of getting her heart run over by a tank tread is the least of her worries. The government never does anything without an ulterior motive. Jake could be the key to success…or just another bad day at the office for the Zeroes.

Product Warnings
Contains explicit language, intense action and violence, rampaging zombie hordes, a heroine with an attitude and flamethrower, Special Forces commandos, ninjas, apocalyptic necromancer capitalist machinations, absurd parody and mayhem, self-deluded humor, irreverence, geek humor, mutant cats, low-brow comedy, and banana-kiwi-flavored gelatin.
Okay, enough blatant self-promotion. Just watch out for those pigeons!

Keith Uses Paint , , , , ,

Window Shopping

December 1st, 2010

The turkey’s been eaten, your black eye’s healing from that deceptively angelic looking grandma beating your ass for the last Zhu Zhu pet on Black Friday, and your Christmas tree is bright and shiny in your living room. It’s officially holiday time!

In the big city, nothing says holidays quite like elaborately dressed department store windows. A few weeks ago, I came across this awesome one:

I wish I could have snagged a better shot of the whole giant thing so you could truly appreciate it. This is the conversation I imagine would take place upon seeing this window:

Girl: Mommy, mommy, it’s Barbie and Ken!
Mom: Wow, you’re right it is! It’s…huh.
Girl: What?
Mom: (tilting head) Um. Nothing.

See, despite the sheer brilliance in creating this ode to childhood (and holy cow, hats off to you, nameless decorator), something was bugging me about it. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I passed it about ten more times, noticing something new each time that made me, with my warped imagination, smile.

And the following entirely fictional, adults only conversation resulted.

Barbie: …can you believe she had the nerve to say that to my face? And after all I did for Skipper, practically raising her as my own all these years. Working as a pediatrician so she’d have free healthcare. That stint as a vet so she could have horse riding lessons. Spending ’85 in that horrid peaches and cream ball gown so the Peach Mafia out of Savannah would leave us be. All those littlest pet shop creatures I let her keep. That thankless little biotch.

Barbie: And the worst part of it all is that Midge took her side! I was the bridesmaid in her wedding, and she couldn’t even stick up for me. You know what I think? I think she’s jealous. Brunettes just aren’t as popular as us blonde dolls. Don’t you agree, Snookie Wookie?

Barbie: Ken? Don’t you agree?

Ken: You really want to know what I think?
Barbie: Of course, snookums.
Ken: No you don’t. You never want to know what I think.
Barbie: Ken! Whatever gave you such an idea…
Ken: You! You gave me that idea! Of course I believe you don’t have any friends! I can barely stand to look at you!
Barbie: (gasps) How dare you?
Ken: How dare I what? How dare I finally open my mouth after decades of living amongst your insanity?
Barbie: I don’t even know what you’re talking about.
Ken: You don’t, huh? Why don’t we start with your deep seated narcissism? I could forgive the pictures of yourself everywhere. But honest to God, that chandelier…

Barbie: What’s wrong with it?
Ken: Are you shittin’ me, B? The way those dolls are hanging down like that…

Ken: Sometimes, when I’m walking under it, I feel a little shoe thump me on the head. It’s like they’re silently screaming for help.
Barbie: Oh pooh! Just because I like to decorate–
Ken: And what about the tree, B?
Barbie: …
Ken: Where are the ornaments?
Barbie: (mumbles)
Ken: What? I couldn’t hear you. Where are the fucking ornaments?
Barbie: On the ground.

Ken: That’s right. And why are they on the ground? I’ll tell you why. Because you had to rip them down before I came home to put up your decorations.

Ken: I mean, look at the way their arms are reaching out for mercy. Have you no pity, woman?
Barbie: I…I can’t help it, Ken. I just like to look at myself.
Ken: Then why did you stab that picture of yourself in the face???

Ken: That is some messed up shit right there.
Barbie: (sobbing on her knees amidst broken glass ornaments) I’m so sorry, Ken. So, so sorry. But to be fair, you’re the one who flaunts pictures of your mistress everywhere.

Ken: My…seriously? Fucking seriously? Barbie, that’s a picture of yourself from the 70’s in black face. I told you when you put it up that it was deeply offensive.
Barbie: Oh. Really?
Ken: I’m calling your psychiatrist. First though…
Barbie: You want to kiss me and carry me off to live in the Waikiki Dream Mansion?
Ken: No. I want to tell you that I hate the color pink.
Barbie: Fuck you. Fuck you and your hairless chesticles.
Ken: Come on. Pink socks? You may as well strip my manhood away completely.

Barbie: I don’t think it was the pink that stripped your manhood away, you bastard.
Ken: …Oh. Oh no you didn’t. No you di-n’t just throw that in my face.
Barbie: It’s been in my face for years, Flat-Crotch.
Ken: You know I can’t help what the manufacturers didn’t give me! That does it. I’m going to see you committed if it’s the last thing I do. (Picks up phone)
Barbie: (withdraws pink revolver from her pink clutch) Darling?

::single gunshot::

Barbie: (crooning to dolls in chandelier) You’ll never leave me, will you my pretties? You like pink. You like us. Never, ever leave…
Ken: That’s a toy gun from your stint as a cowgirl, B.
Barbie: Son of a bitch!


Alisha Runs Amok, Awesomesauce, Random Junk , , ,

Author Misty Evans Interview

November 3rd, 2010

Today I’m here with international spy and quiet professional, Misty Evans. She writes kick ass romantic suspense and funny paranormal comedies. In order to toughen herself against various information extraction techniques used by the enemy, Misty has agreed to be interviewed by me at the Scribbling Ninjas.

Here’s a picture of Misty on a secret mission, done in the vibrant hues of Microsoft Paint:

Keith Melton:  We know you love the Alice in Wonderland adventures. Tell us, did you ever find the rabbit hole? If so, where is it located? I’d like to start selling maps.

Misty Evans: Take a right past Wonky Imagination, go up the Mock Turtle Ladder, fend off the Jabberwocky, and jump into the long, dark Swirling Mass of Wonderland. By the way, Batman was there when I arrived, so I kicked him out. Single handed. He’s not as tough as he talks.

KM: Hmm. I never knew that about Batman, but since you seem to have first-hand knowledge I’ll believe it completely.

And speaking of trustworthy—do you do a lot of research for your books?

Misty Evans: Yes. I love research, but all those files and 3-ring binders in my office are just for show due to the fact I have a photographic memory. My brain is full of incredible amounts of trivia the CIA, SIS and Scotland Yard want to own.

KM: I believe I heard you were working on an Urban Fantasy story. Is this true? Any tasty tidbits of info you can feed us?

Misty Evans: The BoneHunters Series started out as UF and sort of morphed into a post-apocalyptic dystopia, featuring a female spy who’s been accused of treason and must join forces with a government sponsored assassin team in order to save the two men she loves. The first book in that series is still in the works.

Coming Valentine’s Day, 2011, from Carina Press, is the first book in my Lost Worlds Series, SOUL SURVIVOR. I’m currently writing the second book, SOUL PROTECTOR, which I hope will also be released next year. This series is a sexy dark paranormal about reincarnation, shamans and immortals.

KM: Congrats on SOUL SURVIVOR. And your BoneHunter Series sounds like something I’d love.

So what’s next for the Super Agents series? I’ve read a few of them and really enjoyed them. Great romantic suspense. Plenty of guns, mayhem and riding fast motorcycles.

Misty “Super Agent Red Shoes” Evans: The fourth book in the Super Agent Series is LAUNCH, and features Ryan “Smitty” Smith from OPERATION SHEBA and Russian princess Anya Radzoya. This story takes place mainly inside the Kremlin with plenty of guns, mayhem and nuclear missiles.

Keith “Spooky” Melton: Is the pacing in a romantic suspense more or less difficult to deal with than say, your paranormal comedies?

Misty Evans: Each genre has its own pacing needs. The romantic suspense stories have to start off with good tension and keep building as the characters work toward the climax. In comedy, the pacing has more to do with the timing of quips and jokes. I find it easier to deal with the pacing in the WITCHES ANONYMOUS stories because Amy, the main character, is my alter ego. All I have to do is turn her loose and try to keep up.

KM: You also teach workshops on writing and for writers. If you don’t mind, talk a little about your upcoming workshop: Series Business – Is Writing A Series Right For You?

Misty Evans: I love writing series. In fact, that’s all I write now. In the past two years, I’ve had so many writers say, “How do you do that?”, it seemed like a good idea to take my experience and turn it into an online workshop.

The workshop covers developing a Series Bible to track plot lines, characters and story arcs, and developing a Pitch Bible that includes blurbs, synopses and a story arc to market to agents and editors. It’ll be offered in 2011 through Yellow Rose RWA, Red River Romance Writers, and Carolina Romance Writers.

KM: Suppose you were a secret agent starring in one of your books. What would be your preferred weapon and vehicle?

Misty Evans: Iron Man’s suit – it functions as both weapon and vehicle. Doesn’t actually exist, you say? Check out this If I couldn’t have that suit, I’d have Conrad Flynn from my Super Agent Series as my weapon of choice and I’d drive a Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R, the fastest motorcycle in the world, named after the Peregrine Falcon. I need the fastest bike because I’d be hauling ass away from the people with guns.

KM: Iron Man’s suit does indeed sound awesome—save for one critical drawback. It would be a little uncomfortable to lounge around the couch in. Other than that though…Oh, and great minds think alike. I gave a Suzuki Hayabusa to a character in a book I’m writing. Those are so exceedingly fast. (And I totally didn’t just throw this in here to let readers know I’m not just copying you on the Hayabusa… ::innocent look::)

But moving on. It just so happens you are the proud owner of a genuine pair of twin sons. Please give us the real-life scoop on twins. Exponentially increasing fun? More work to the power of two? Or some mixture of both?

Misty “Super Secret Agent Mom” Evans: Definitely both a lot of fun and a lot of work. The first year was the hardest – my husband and I decided two kids was enough after that melee – but in the following years, having twins has been an awesome experience. They’re fraternal, so they don’t look alike, and they have very different personalities. They’re both really cool people. And sometimes, they even give me ideas for books. The BoneHunters title came from them talking about Bionicles in the car one day.

KM: Where is your secret underground lair located? (GPS coordinates will suffice.)

Misty Evans: Sorry, only Batman and I know the coordinates. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.

KM: Since I’m not sure I’m interested in being killed at the moment, please tell us a few of your favorite thriller/suspense and/or romantic suspense writers.

Misty Evans: Stephen King, James Grippando, Tess Geritsen, Kathy Reichs, Suzanne Brockmann, Carla Neggers, Karen Robards, the list goes on and on…

KM: What is the question you’ve always wanted to be presented in an interview but have yet to be asked? Please feel free to answer that question here:

Misty Evans: Since I write about the CIA and spies, I’ve always wanted to be asked “What’s your favorite conspiracy theory?”  The answer? Princess Di. I’m positive her death wasn’t accidental and I hope every day that her and Dodi are still alive and living on a yacht in the Mediterranean.

KM: You have a new book out and here’s the blurb:


Word’s gotten around Heaven (and Hell) that Amy tricked the angel Gabriel and helped Adam with his second trial with temptation. Now Samson shows up on her doorstep looking for true love, and Delilah’s not far behind, insisting she wasn’t the one who cut off his hair. In order to get both of them out of her ice cream shop and back into each others’ arms, Amy must become a relationship expert and a detective while completing Step Two of Witches Anonymous. But will believing in a higher power help Amy in her quest, or make matters worse?


KM (cont): That sounds like a good time. Was it fun to return to the Witches Anonymous world? Will we get all twelve steps…and how will you fit that into a print book. It’ll be roughly 400,000 words.

Misty Evans: Oh, yeah. There’s nothing more fun than writing a story with conceited angels, a super sexy Lucifer and a witch with a shoe addiction. Completely different than my CIA series. As I mentioned earlier, I turn Amy loose and sit back and watch the fireworks.

JINGLE HELLS is the second book in the series and this one is a Christmas story. There are thirteen steps in the Witches Anonymous program and I plan to write a story for each of the steps. Luckily, they’re novellas, so the word count will be closer to 260,000 words. Phew!

KM: Do you prefer to write from a carefully plotted outline or are you a pantser?

Misty Evans: I outline my Super Agent books but I pants the Witches Anonymous books. When I wrote SOUL SURVIVOR, I had no idea where that story was going…and it took me several passes to finally get a decent story out of it. Sitting down at the laptop and whipping out a story is a rush, but if I don’t have any idea where it’s going, that ends up taking too many edits to get a finished product I’m happy with. I’ve learned over the years to at least have a loose outline when I start any book, and as I’m writing that book, I outline the series, building on the ideas I’m incorporating into that first story.

KM: What are your favorite types of stories? Any favorite themes or tropes or character archetypes?

Misty Evans: My favorite stories are good vs. evil, and I always root for the underdog.

Keith’s Rapid Fire Questions:

1.) Favorite musical artists and/or genres of music?

Misty Evans: Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Shinedown, Van Halen. Just about any big hair 80’s band. Some alternative rock too. My boys have me listening to Muse, Green Day and Owl City.

2.) Food you hate most? (If it’s not Jell-O, skip this question and/or lie.)

Misty Evans: Orange Jell-O makes me throw up.


…but moving on…

3.) Would you rather go to outer space or deep under the ocean (where you may or may not own a secret lair)?

Misty Evans: Ocean. I’m a water baby. But if I had the Iron Man suit, I could fly and head to outer space too.

4) What would be your ideal vacation?

Misty Evans: Sun, sand, water, tequila.

KM: What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year, career wise and life-in-general?

Misty Evans: Career-wise, I’m looking forward to kicking out as many stories as possible. Life in general, I’m planning to kick my Disney habit.

KM: Now that you’re a writer with a few books under your belt, will you turn your attention to becoming an International Rock Star?

Misty Evans: How’d you know? It’s either that or I’ll end up in dive bars hustling pool and playing endless games of pinball.

KM: You play boardgames with your family. Do you play Risk? Do you dominate and laugh maniacally, or is that only me?

Misty Evans: I’m into world domination, so Risk is one of my favorites. I laugh manically even when I’m not taking over South America.

KM: Nothing is as cleansing for the body and soul as maniacal laughter.

So who would win in an Epic Battle? Jason Bourne or James Bond?

Misty Evans: Are we talking Daniel Craig James Bond or one of the previous Bonds? If it’s DC, the battle would be the Never Ending Epic Battle. I mean, Bourne can beat a man to death with a rolled up newspaper, but DC Bond can take one hell of a beating and still take out the bad guys.

It’d be awesome to see the two working together. Hey, you just gave me an idea for a new series!

KM: Thanks again, Misty, for coming out to play!

Misty Evans: I had a great time! Thanks for having me at Scribbling Ninjas. Now where’s the tequila?

KM: Alisha Rai drank all the tequila months ago. But we do have one dusty bottle of Odoul’s…

Misty Evans and her awesome Romantic Suspense and Paranormal stories can be found here:

And here’s a bonus picture:

Keith Melton Interviews People, Writer Stuff , , , ,

Moira Rogers Does London

October 20th, 2010

As you may or may not know, I’m currently on an extended visit to the U.K. I’m absolutely adoring it. The only downside is the time difference and the effect it has on my ability to connect with my friends. I used to be an hour ahead of Bree and Donna…now I’m six! And I won’t even get started on the eight hours separating me and my buddies on the west coast. Really, their cheekiness in living further away from me astounds me.

So I was feeling pretty homesick when I wandered into a bookstore off Fleet Street and discovered something wonderful. No, no, not a demon barber. Even better!

And who’s in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2, alongside Lara Adrian, Nathalie Gray (a.k.a. the awesome cover artist Kanaxa), Ann Aguirre, S.J. Day and more?

Squee! It’s Bree and Donna! Why, it’s practically like they’re here with me…

*Insert Flashback Sound Effect Which I Am Not Techy Enough To Actually Produce Even After Spending an Hour Attempting It*

First, our day starts out with a traditional British breakfast.

Don’t forget your umbrella, mate. London weather is unpredictable!

Ah, yes, and we’re off. There are so many things to see in London. Like…

What, ho, Trafalgar Square!

I say, Marble Arch! (This is near the Tyburn Gallows. Moira likes stuff like that)

Chuffed to see Big Ben!

Museums as far as me eye can see, luv!

This…chap dressed like a knight!

And of course, no trip to London would be complete without a ride in a double decker bus, eh Moira?

You have to sit on the top level to get the best view:

Wow, Moira, this has been an awesome day. My feet are…whoa. Hey. Where did you get that badger? I don’t think…OMG. Put it away, Rogers. For the love of pete, put it away before…


Blimey. Well, it was fun while it lasted. At least bobbies look adorable, yes?

While I bail out my friends, you should check out The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2, now available in the U.K. and the U.S.! It’s a solid anthology, filled with some very good authors.

As a side note, if you’re wondering how many funny looks I got as I took pictures with a book with a naked winged man on it, the answer is: none. The British, bless their hearts, are far too polite to stare bug-eyed, even at the crazy American in their midst.

Alisha Runs Amok, Awesomesauce, Book Release, Books, London , , , , , ,

Happy Birthday Donna!

October 12th, 2010

Leave a comment here to enter to win your choice of Moira Roger’s Samhain digital titles! Contest closes Sunday, Oct. 17th.

It’s Donna’s birthday today, hooray! Now, Donna isn’t just Kim Possible and a homicidal maniac. She has so many other wonderful qualities, and so, for her birthday, Keith and I have put together an illustrated pictorial of some of the things that make Donna awesome…in true internetz fashion, via LOLCats.

Alisha: She’s an excellent mother.

Keith: A ninja mother!

Alisha: That goes without saying. She’s also has a great sense of humor and can induce milk-through-nose snortage with just a one liner.

Keith: I heard that once, she killed a man by making him laugh to death. Then she used his limbs to tickle people and start the cycle of laughter and death all over again!
Alisha: What? Melton, you must stop your lies! This is for Donna’s birthday, remember.
Keith: Oh, yeah.
Alisha: It’s your turn.
Keith: Well, she’s an integral part of Moira Rogers. Not only is she a great writer, but she does an awesome job on the edits that turn their books into gold.
Alisha: Oh, good point!

Alisha: Um. That caption seems a little…
Keith: What?
Alisha: Never mind. She’s a warm and loving friend, who always has time for a chat and an ear to let you vent.

Keith: Except when she’s singlehandedly destroying Asian cities!

Alisha:…I’m going to ignore you.
Keith: Probably a good plan.
Alisha: Donna also has great taste in men. See here.
Keith: And cats.

Alisha: That’s a monkey.
Keith: Thats what she wants you to think.
Alisha: Sigh. I tried. Happy Birthday Donna!

Keith: Wait, wait, wait! I drew a picture. It has Flying Robot Monkey Sharks! Which is what the rest of the Scribbling Ninjas decided to buy Donna this year because she already owns a tractor.



Leave a comment here to enter to win your choice of Moira Roger’s Samhain digital titles! Also, don’t forget to go to the Moira Rogers blog and wish Donna a Happy Birthday there for more chances to win books.

Alisha Runs Amok, Alisha v. Keith, Books, Epic Contests, Free Books , , , , ,

Interview with author Jody Wallace

October 8th, 2010

Once upon a time I was interviewed by the notorious Meankitty, “owned” by author Jody Wallace. Now the hour for payback is upon us! Also, ’tis the hour of bad Microsoft Paint pictures of Jody Wallace and Meankitty laying out some hardcore smackdown on a bunch of flesh-eating gnomes…


Keith Melton: So we meet again, Meankitty. Alas, this time it is I who holds the microphone and the pictures of your wild catnip crazed nights in Vegas. So let’s just cut to the chase. Interview subjects. Which do you prefer? Humans, dogs, cats, or piranhas?

Meankitty: Cats. No contest. Sometimes dogs try to get uppity with me and I have to bring out the claw. Speaking of uppity, and hippity hoppity, we’re about to interview a rabbit. That should be interesting.

KM: That would make a good title for your autobiography, actually. “Meankitty: Bringing Out The Claw.”

And I’ve heard rumors of this upcoming rabbit interview. Apparently the bunny in question claims to be a servant of the Prince of Darkness. Who knew?

But moving on…please take a moment and list the indignities and day-to-day humiliations you suffer as a result of being owned by a human with a writing career. Don’t hold back. Let it all out. Is that a tear I see? I sense some large-scale pathos on the way…

Meankitty: Just five minutes ago, I saw her pushing Big D out of the way because the LAPTOP was in her lap. This happens far too often. In fact, I have no need to be in her lap until the LAPTOP makes an appearance. Or when she’s sick to her stomach or suffering from some kind of hot flash. Then I like to press my sultry, furry self up against her and make things worse. Oh, and sometimes when I have cold feet. As for the rest, she hired Food Slave (the man human) to tend our culinary and litterbox needs so we’re okay there. I say “hired” but I think the humans call it “married”. I don’t try to argue semantics with the fur challenged.

KM: Probably wise. Our five dedicated readers would like to know: Do you chase mice…or do mice chase you?

Meankitty: No mice have the ability to chase in this house. We run a clean operation. As for other mice, see below.

KM: Cat toys? Blissful objects of feline joy, or crass plastic exploitation manufactured in China?

Meankitty: It depends on the toy. I’m particularly fond of small fake mice and any precious small objects that are not exactly cat toys but which the mini humans love. Either way, they ALL go under the couch and stove. I also like to bat food crumbs under there. I was solely responsible for the Great Weevil Infestation of 2009. Meeeee-ow, was that ever hilarious! Freaking-out humans are laughtastic.

KM: I recently read a rumor (which may have been started by a certain demonic bunny) that you lick yourself. Truth or Libel?

Meankitty: Of course I do. I’m delicious!

KM: That may actually qualify as the Best Answer Ever To An Inappropriate Question.

So are you as “mean” as your title implies? Or are you just tragically misunderstood?

Meankitty: Yes and no.

KM: Ah, scintillating. I’m curious. What’s the question you’ve always wanted to ask but have never been asked because you’re a cat, and people generally don’t ask cats about their opinions? Feel free to answer that question here.

Meankitty: The answer is, “Because they’re pink inside.” HAHAHAHAHA! Am I right or am I right?

KM: Do you fear the coming Typing Slave Revolution? Do you ever bite the hand that feeds? LOL Cats, love ‘em or hate ‘em? And lastly, do you sing?

Meankitty: Typing Slave’s only revolution is when she gave up coffee for tea. The woman is not the revolution type. Most cat staff aren’t. We select them that way carefully.

No, I don’t bite the hand that feeds me. That’s a beginner’s tactic. Sometimes Big D does but he’s dumber than I am.

LOL Cats are spelling challenged. But they sure make a lot more money than we do. I would love to make that kind of money, but I would not love to have that many ads on my website or do that much work. Could there BE more sites in the Cheezburger network? I mean, seriously. Sure the contributors and commenters provide most of the entertainment, but still.

No, I do not sing. I am more of a dancer.

KM: Okay, our sincere thanks to Meankitty for allowing us into the exciting world of Cats on the Internet. Now we turn to interview Meankitty’s professional cat wrangler and author, Jody Wallace, aka Ellie Marvel, aka MK’s Typing Slave. First question: do you feel a compulsive need to correct grammar errors? Is this a consequence of your time spent as a college English instructor?

Jody Wallace: I restrain myself more than I used to since I don’t get paid to do it anymore but the urge burns inside me like the yearning for coffee after several months of caffeine free tea.

KM: You have creepy pictures of gnomes on your website. Do these gnomes exist in your general vicinity? And how can you walk through your yard in peace knowing there are creepy gnomes peeking at you?

Jody Wallace: Gnomes do exist everywhere, but my yard is protected. I invested in gnome-pel, I have Meankitty, and I know for a fact the gnome statues I own will not reanimate in the presence of magic. In fact, like the statues Jake’s grandfather Pap creates (from Survival of the Fairest), they ward off the REALLY dangerous creatures of the paranormal underworld.

Question for readers: is your yard protected? Are you prepared? One thing to beware of is the tiny, buzzing grrrrrrrrr gnomes make right before the attack. Another is the gleam in their eyes that can be mistaken as harmless dewdrops or some shit like that. Plus they smell like carrion. You catch a whiff of that? Don’t look around for the roadkill, just run.

KM: Well, I know I’m prepared. I wear chainmail socks and I installed strands of electrified razor wire around the flowerbeds…

Follow up question: will the world ever learn the truth about gnomes? Forget the zombies, what about the Gnome Apocalypse?

Jody Wallace: It’s not like I’m not putting the information out there. What the world chooses to do with it–like ignore me totally–is their mistake. If you don’t want to be on the losing side, watch your back, and invest in some high quality waders.

KM: Tell us about your newest book release.

Jody Wallace: I assume you mean something currently on the shelves. Alas, I can’t remember that far back. Ok, I had a contemporary romance come out in December 2009 as Ellie Marvel called “What She Deserves” — a high school reunion story with insufficient cats or gnomes. But people seem to like it. I hope that’s not a reflection of how much they don’t like cats and gnomes.

KM: I realize that Survival of the Fairest has flesh-eating gnomes (which should make it an auto-buy for any reader of this blog), but do you ever plan on writing a romance about gnomes? I’m sure they have some stories to tell…

Aside to our readers

(You can find Survival of the Fairest and other Jody Wallace books here: )

Jody Wallace: Gnomes don’t reproduce in a way that human readers would consider romantic, considering it involves turning to stone, shattering themselves into pieces and waiting for those pieces to reform into baby gnomes, aka skitters. That’s why, during a gnome infestation, you really have to stomp the bits into dust. Can’t have heads and limbs rolling around intact. They will literally come back to bite you in the ass.

With that in mind, I’d have to say their potential as romance novel protagonists is limited. Hm. Maybe children’s stories, you think?

KM: Honestly, I had NO IDEA about the details of gnome reproduction. Fascinating…and yet entirely disturbing.

But on with our questions!

Do you prefer to work from tight outlines or are you a pantser?

Jody Wallace: I like my pants. Sometimes they get set on fire. By the HOTNESS, of course.

KM: That only happens to me when I’m running the barbeque.

Moving on…

So, what are your favorite types of stories? Any favorite themes or tropes or character archetypes?

Jody Wallace: Reworked fairy tales are a joy. Favorite themes would be best friends who become better friends, HUBBA HUBBA, women who can rescue themselves but let the men help so they’ll feel manly, men who realize women can rescue themselves but go ahead and help so she won’t be too exhausted afterwards to have sex, and apocalyptic stuff that isn’t entirely bleak. Well, to be honest, I’m not drawn to anything that’s bleak. Except the publishing industry, and opinions on that are wildly varied.

KM: You crochet, which I’m told is completely different from knitting, sewing, or pottery. You also crochet some extremely awesome things. Here’s an example:

And some more can be found here:

Do you work from a pattern? Do you create these designs on your own? Do you sell these things?

Jody Wallace: I work mostly from patterns. I’m actually not very good. I mess up a lot and try to send my stuff to people who don’t crochet themselves; that way they won’t notice my lack of skillz. I do not sell anything for money. I prefer other kinds of payment. Praise, adoration, back scratching, free meals, that sort of thing. 

Keith’s Lazy Question: What did you always want to be asked about in an interview that you’ve never been asked before? Feel free to answer that question here.

Jody Wallace: Yes, thanks! I’ll take it in cash.

Keith’s Rapid Fire Questions:

1.) Favorite musical artists and/or genres of music?

Jody Wallace: Faves are funk, trip hop, speed garage, some industrial, bluegrass, anything by They Might Be Giants except that one album, 80’s music because of the painful nostalgia, and Irish punk.

2.) Food you hate most? (If it’s not Jell-O, skip this question and/or lie.)

Jody Wallace: Jell-O with LIVER and bits of SOUSE MEAT in it. Not even Meankitty will eat souse meat.

KM: I had to look up souse meat…and I may never be the same. Souse meat is a substance that should be purged from the earth with FIRE!


::pant, pant, pant::

Okay, on with the interview before I have to start the hard drinking to forget about souse meat…

3.) Would you rather go to outer space or deep under the ocean?

Jody Wallace: Deep under the ocean. Outer space is dicey since I’m still in hiding after that incident on Baranax Prime in Galactic Year 298744. Oh, wait, that’s a lie. The true answer is neither. I get sea and air sick too easily.

4) What would be your ideal vacation?

Jody Wallace: I think I just took it. DH and I went to Yellowstone with a gnome, a writer friend, her husband and no kids. I love my children, I really do, but I don’t think they’d have enjoyed Yellowstone at their ages. Too much waiting, not enough places to swim without getting boiled or frozen.

Another ideal part was I didn’t have to worry about the kids (or cats) because my sister stayed at our house with them. Bless her! I got to hear a lot of funny stories about how Meankitty tormented “Nanny Slave” in our absence. MK broke out the one paw, the midnight howl, the crazed bug chase and even invented a few new maneuvers. That Meankitty!

KM: What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year, career wise and life-in-general?

Jody Wallace: I have a novel due out with Samhain in February or March 2011 called One Thousand Kisses, the sequel to Survival of the Fairest. It’s full of cats and a few gnomes. Meankitty made me do it. I’m in edits right now, cutting 16,000 precious words you will NEVER get to SEE that are probably the best things I’ve ever written in my life. No, that’s the hick lit novel nobody wanted to buy. But these 16,000 words are damn good ones.

I’m also looking forward to August 2011 when my youngest starts kindergarten. FREEEEEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMM! Only, I don’t think I’ll paint my face blue or get myself stabbed with a sword.

KM: I believe the general idea is to paint your face blue and stab other people with a sword, but who’s keeping track, right? ^_^

Thanks again to Jody Wallace and Meankitty for taking the time to join us today. Jody can be found on Twitter:

Jody’s books can be found here:

and Ellie Marvel’s books can be found here:

The notorious Meankitty and various amusing Meankitty interviews can be found here:

Drop by. Say hello. But whatever you do, don’t taunt Meankitty with anchovies…

Keith Melton Interviews People, Keith Uses Paint, Wicked Awesome, Writer Stuff , ,

Promoting Cartoon Violence On the Internet

October 4th, 2010

I make no secret of the fact I like to draw people in Microsoft Paint engaged in Epic Battle with various real threats that people face every day.

So, continuing with that theme and here for your viewing pleasure…MORE RANDOM COMBAT!



The above picture was requested of me by my step-daughter, and I must say *I approve*!


And the above picture was done for Nicole at

She’s a book reviewer too, so check out her blog! Anyone who wants a picture of themselves fighting a giant squid with a pen deserves a salute in my book.

Aside: I think I’ll have to do more Robot Fight Club pictures. Perhaps an entire series of them, despite the fact that all three other authors on this site have publicly disavowed my “art” work. ^_^

Bad Paint, Keith Melton's Megalomaniacal Delusions, Keith Uses Paint, Robot Fight Club , ,