Posts tagged with: Audiobook month

Meet 2017 Golden Heart Finalist Melonie Johnson!!

Today we have a return guest, 2016 AND 2017 Golden Heart Finalist Melonie Johnson, whose manuscript SOMETIMES YOU NEED A SEXY SCOT is nominated once again for Best Contemporary Romance!

Melonie—aka #thewritinglush—loves dark coffee, cheap wine, and expensive beer. And margaritas…always margaritas. She met her future husband in that most romantic of places—the mall—when they were teenagers working in stores across the hall from each other. Now they live happily ever after in the suburbs of Chicago with two redhead daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a trio of hermit crabs. A former high school English and Theatre teacher, Melonie writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin. A Star Wars junkie and Shakespeare groupie who quotes both Yoda and the Bard with equal aplomb, you can visit her at and find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelonieJohnson.

Melonie’s here with us today to talk about a topic near and dear to so many of our hearts: the importance (and pleasure) of friendships…even in the middle of a romance!

Take it away, Melonie!


photo credit Heather Stumpf

This is my Sexy Scot’s second spin on the Golden Heart dance floor. After signing with an agent last summer (Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency), I went through a round or two of revisions.

Seeing as I wasn’t on submission yet by the time the GH window was closing, I decided to toss my story into the ring once more. I’m thrilled I did because finaling a second time means now I get to be a Mermaid (GH class of ’16) and a Rebelle! Happy to be back visiting the Rubies once again. Since I’ve introduced this story before, I’ll keep it short and sweet this time:

She indulged in a kilty pleasure…and got punked by a Scottish Hunk. A Chicago social media maven locks lips with a sexy Scot only to discover she’s the unwitting star of an internet prank and now must keep the kiss that launched a million clicks from sinking her career.

My Golden Heart manuscript begins with a group of friends on the vacation of their dreams. Our heroine, Cassie Crow, is determined to fulfill another fantasy while on this trip—she wants a foreign fling—and scores her hot hook-up in the form of sexy Scot, Logan Reid. Cassie’s escapade would never happen, however, without the help of her friends. And while this book is about the relationship that develops between Cassie and Logan, it’s also about Cassie’s other relationships—the ones she has with her friends.

Friendships are a central part of my stories, and that comes, in part, from the basic mantra: write what you love to read. I love to read stories with well-developed friendships and enjoy the banter between the heroine and her besties in equal measure to that between the heroine and hero. I relish the scenes where a dear friend helps the heroine work through her feelings as much as the moment when the hero figures out he’s found the one. Honestly, I think finding a tribe of friends you can count on is almost as important as finding your mate. Sometimes, it can be more important.

Me and my high school besties, Big bangs and jean shorts, even in winter. Hello 90s.

My oldest daughter starts high school in the fall, and she’s terrified. Her biggest fear (aside from not being able to remember her locker combination) is she won’t make any friends. I’ve tried to explain she’ll be fine—seriously, if the girl had a superpower, it would be making friends—but what fourteen-year-old listens to anything her mom says? She’s convinced herself that where she decides to sit at lunch on the first day of school will decide her fate for the next four years. I’ve told her that’s ridiculous, but then recall that one of my bridesmaids was a girl I met my freshman year…when we shared a lunch table. (Okay, so maybe it’s a good thing she doesn’t listen to me)

While we all dream of falling in love romantically, I think we also hope for another kind of love—one that involves as much trust and loyalty and connection. Hence, the appeal of these relationships in a story. Who doesn’t want a Diana to their Anne? A Bess and George to their Nancy? A Threepio to their Artoo (sorry, couldn’t resist).

What about you? Do you have a favorite literary friendship? (Movies and television count too). Let me know in the comments! I’ll be giving away three $5 Starbucks e-giftcards and since June is Audiobook Month, I’ll include a code for a free audiobook from Audible for my latest narration project, Swim Season, a YA sports drama which focuses, interestingly enough, on the friendships a high school senior develops when she moves to a new school and joins the swim team.

The Latest Comments

  • Elizabeth Langston: You’re right–and it is a powerful lingering impression as the last phrase....
  • Darynda Jones: I like what you did here, Beth. I also like the first one. I like the line “determined to...
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  • Darynda Jones: Great pitch, Jenn! I love what you did with it, Beth. This stuff is so hard. LOL
  • Elizabeth Langston: I think this pitch is in good shape. But if I could try anything, I’d want to lead with the...