Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020 Goals

2019 was a good year for me and mine. Kids all have good jobs and goals. Hubby did have a health scare but it came to nothing. My health has been great other than a couple knee flareups. No asthma, no bronchitis! Hubby and I have stuck to our keto way of eating and are reaping the benefits.

I retired in April, a few years early, but I was able to get cheap health insurance, which made the difference. Love being home! So much less stress. Medical billing is crazy and frustrating, do not miss it.

We built a deck on the house and have future home improvements. Being at home makes those goals easier!

I got an adorable puppy, Nutmeg, and will be taking doggy classes with her. Also plan to work on more crafty stuff and to read more non-fiction.

I published a few short stories in 2019, which was good after a long dry spell.

I have more ambitious plans for 2020:

Cyborg Salvage, Diaspora Worlds Series  Dooley, who was a pilot in Alien Blood Book 2., now has a freighter full of rescued schoolchildren. On a remote asteroid, he salvages weapons from a decimated cyborg army attack. A handful of cyborgs survive and he invites them aboard. One of them is 2LN77, a cyborg woman he met and desired to rescue years ago.

Pixi  (short holiday story) Pixi is one of the cyborgs Dooley rescues. She was an experiment, a child cyborg fitted with a complex neural interface. The experiment failed, the neural net doesn't work. As a teenager, she fits right in with the kids Dooley rescued from Spaceship Camp. They get this great idea...

Dauntless Lady, Starship Sisters Book One  Following a bombing several young women join together to get out of the city to a countryside college. A college professor and several of her students have been secretly researching about the starship that brought their ancestors from Terra to Idunn. They find it. They can help their families and others, devastated by war. In their society, young ladies would do the proper thing and give control of the ship to their fathers and other elders. They decided to keep it.

Spacemen from Liln  (stand-alone) Hidden for decades in the mountains of Montana, the Liln offer free health care to women with terrible immune diseases. Jani, facing homelessness as well as illness, is so thankful. She and her handsome young doctor Vrennan start a forbidden affair. He fails to report that some of her meds had to be stopped to his superiors, so she isn't forced to leave. Women who are too sharp and aware must leave before they discover the Liln's secret. Jani starts to notice strange, late night activity at the resort and decides to investigate.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Cyborg Daddy Excerpt

Coming in February!

Cyborg Daddy
Diaspora Worlds Book Seven


Tybu checked on Mama. She was asleep. He stood there, uncertain of what he should do.

Mama said he was supposed to walk to Starwoman School with Gershi. But Gershi didn’t live in Pod 14 anymore. They got a berth on a ship to the Coder Leesum Settlement. Gershi was excited to leave for a planet.
But he should go to school. Starwoman Verleen would miss him. Her face was already droopy and sad, what if she got sadder?
Mama always said she just needed lots of rest. Mama’s job paid for their room and food cause of the accident, so Mama could rest.
At least Mama wasn’t blasted. She looked pretty as always. Just sleepy.
Tybu slid his tabbie into the pocket inside his jacket and closed it so nobody bad could swipe it. He grabbed his squashy cup too, and put it in the other pocket. Maybe he could get Govi Nutrigruel instead of plain.
He slid out the door, walked quickly to the glidewalk and hopped on. He sat next to an old lady. Mama said old ladies were the safest. He didn’t know why, not like they could kickpunch a bad guy.
The path went by the green park where school was held on benches. He hopped off and ran into the area with benches, bushes and trees. The school place had lots of seats and a high place where the teacher stood. Her helpers always fixed the little kid’s tabbies so they could give answers on the lesson. You had to listen. Sometimes you circled the answer picture and sometimes you tap-tapped.
There were big boys. Sometimes big boys got rough and crazy. Tybu pushed into a leafy bush. He would just hide until Sister Verleen came.
He heard Suki chattering and looked for her. He liked her, she was funny and talked all the time, except when Sister Verleen told her to be quiet and listen.
 She was as tall as him, but his hair was like metal rust and hers gleamed like gold. She always wore a purple jacket.
Her dad was so scary. He was all blasted and his face was covered with a black mask he could see through with one eye. He was big and always dressed in black with a thick jacket. Maybe being blasted made him cold, like Mama was always cold and wrapped in the shiny blanket.
Suki skipped along holding his hand. Tybu bet her dad could kickpunch someone to the next landing. She was never scared cause her dad was super scary.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

November Newsletter! With Carol Van Natta's new book!

  I retired last spring, what a transition! I am still finding my way (and my hair color!), so this is my
first newsletter since I retired.  I got the cutest puppy in the world, Nutmeg, a Chihuahua/Shitzu mix.
I have been finishing Sci-fi romance and Fantasy Romance stories and plan to publish more often.

I did manage to publish a fantasy romance novella! 

Adler, a griffintaur, with the wings and feet of a griffin, is a student wizard.
His father demands he find a bride at the country's spring Bridal Faire. 

This comes as a surprise to Adler, who still has a year of school left. But he dutifully makes the journey to the Faire.

He is terrible at wife wooing. The only girl he can talk to is the fruit seller, Ayperi. She is from a distant land, wears a
turban and has a thick accent.

Then he sees her hag-like employer beating her. Why not ask her to be his wife?

Novella, The Realms of Glister Series

If you want this book for Free:

My Yahoo loop is no more. I was sorry to see it go, because I had it for over ten years.
I did move to an IO Group that you can join. It can send notices to email— my blogs and other
news will be announced there.

 You can get a Smashwords Coupon for this book.
100% discount!
This group replaces my Yahoo Loop, since Yahoo is closing groups.
Sad to see it go, it went back to my early days of publishing.

New pen name!
Sweet and Magical!
  This summer I visited my 90 year old aunt. I decided to write a few ‘sweet’ titles she would enjoy!
So Luna Alchemie came to be. So far I have a series of short holiday stories planned, in Kindle Unlimited!
I have some fairy tale and fantasy romances planned for Luna.

Available Now:

I'm one of identical triplets, but I didn't learn about that until my Aunt Aggie asked me to visit her.
Or just flat out move to Montana.
I decided to move, since I couldn't pay my rent. Aunt Aggie and Montana are lovely, though she
does have some odd ideas. She believes the Fae are real, and we are of Fae blood!
It all seems pretty far-fetched to me! 

Short Halloween Romance, 13k.


Living in Montana is wonderful, but a bit confusing. Fae blood, really?
And I’ve been seeing a car driving by our remote home. Is it a stalker? Should I worry?
Maybe I’ll consult the local security guy, Spike Oberon.  Short Holiday Romance.

Tip: Watch my IO group for Free Days!

Carol Van Nattas’s New Book!
 Carol, my Fort Collins Comic Con Partner in Crime, has a book out in December!
Her Ice Age Shifter Paranormal Series is a must read! 

A lost sheriff's deputy and a captive prehistoric shifter must fight danger—and their sizzling attraction—
if they want to escape a dying fairy fantasyland.

Shifter’s Storm (Ice Age Shifters Book 5)
by Carol Van Natta
Published by Chavanch Press • Release date 12 December 2019

In a dying fairy fantasyland, can two shifters tell if the magic between them is real?
While volunteering for hurricane cleanup, sheriff’s deputy and leopard shifter Chantal Hammond stumbles
across two escapees from a fairy fantasyland. Unfortunately, when she tries to help, she ends up trapped.
She quickly discovers she's lost in a mini-world of trouble, and more captives need rescuing.
Prehistoric sloth shifter Dauro de Mar and his friends have cruelly been imprisoned in their animal forms
for years. His plan to lead the escape is mostly wishful thinking until an intoxicating and magical leopard
shifter arrives still in her human form. She's their game changer.
It's going to take Chantal's and Dauro's combined skills, magic, and courage to evade evil hunters and
greedy fairies, and get everyone out of this mess. Especially since the fairy fantasyland is disintegrating.
Can they fight off danger—and their sizzling attraction—long enough to win their freedom?
Or will they be destroyed by the mother of all storms when this magical land dies?
Find out today in Shifter's Storm, another sizzling hot Ice Age Shifters®
paranormal romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Van Natta.

Shifter's Storm is a complete story with a happily-ever-after and no cliffhanger, and can be enjoyed without
having read the rest of the series.

Buy Links
Universal buy link:
Apple Books, Google Play, and Kobo links coming soon
Author Bio

Carol Van Natta is a USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning science fiction and fantasy author.
Series include the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series that starts with Overload Flux and
Minder Rising, and the Ice Age Shifters paranormal romance series that starts with Shifter Mate Magic and
Shift of Destiny. She shares her Fort Collins, CO home with a resident mad scientist and just the right
number of equally mad cats.

Chat with Carol on Facebook at, or visit her on the web
at Be the first to find out about new releases by signing up for her
newsletter at

Have a lovely holiday season!

Melisse Aires

~*News Group,online newsletter,blogs posts and more!*~

To Unsubscribe to this newsletter, please reply with Unsubscribe as the subject.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Daywalker, 1st person excerpt

I have been writing a paranormal series of short stories under a new pen name, Luna Alchemie. I am starting to enjoy it, so I am doing Daywalker, a paranormal romance in first person. Daywalker is in revisions since the rough is complete. Hope to publish in early 2020.

I came to a home, leveled into a pile of timbers and bricks. In the driveway was a car, its roof partly caved in by a fallen tree. With great effort, I managed to pull the tree off the hood. The occupant was dead, neck broken by a branch that had gone right into the open driver's door window, crashing into the driver. Other than the roof, the car seemed undamaged. It wasn’t gory, with a broken neck. I dragged the guy to the side of the ruined house. “Sorry, guy, but I'm gonna take your car. Not like you need it anyway.” 
Some impulse— derangement caused by this accident? Am I insane? But the dead man smelled like food. My stomach rumbled with gnawing hunger. I felt my eye teeth grow. Fangs! And I knew just what to do with them. I bit into the man’s neck, swallowing still-warm blood. Fresh blood. Somehow, I knew fresh tasted better. Electric thrills ran down my limbs as I gulped the glorious blood.
When I finished, I wiped my mouth on the sleeve of the jumpsuit, since I planned to get rid of it. I felt energized, alive. I knew I was stronger and faster. More alert. I could see further, clearer. 
What the hell? A vampire? But it’s daylight. Morning. 
Now I had an even better reason to get away from this area. Nobody likes vampires.
I felt much better though, not tired a bit. Climbing up that crater had really taken it out of me.
There was a suitcase in the car and a cooler full of food. I dressed in a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt, baggy but workable with the belt, and removed the dead man's shoes, which were a little long, but okay. I put on clean socks from the suitcase.
I may be a blood-sucking monster, but wear someone’s dirty socks? Just no!  
I tossed the orange jumpsuit behind a shrub, but not before ripping off the number patch. Maybe I could use it for identity. I felt extremely full so ignored the snack foods and the drinks in the cooler.
A small backpack yielded cash and bank account information.
I searched the corpse and found the driver's license. “David Green, thirty years old, if I have the current year right. Bozeman, MT. Well, buddy, I'm gonna borrow your life for a while. Until I can remember who the hell I am.”
I peered in the rearview mirror and compared my face to the license. I was surprised to find that I was handsome, with sharp cheekbones, blue eyes rimmed in grey with long dark lashes, and curly hair the color of caramel, clipped military short on the sides in a kind of Mohawk. A square jawline. I don’t look like a blood-sucking monster. The man in the driver's license had a shaved head, a scruffy dark beard, and a goofy half-smile on his face. Bad photo, blue eyes, brown hair. It worked well enough. I could say I’d been dieting and working out because I figured I weighed about twenty pounds less than the dead guy. 

As I’d changed clothes I’d been gratified to see I have six-pack abs and muscled thighs and arms. You hear about inmates who spend a lot of time working out. I must have been one of those. Being strong would probably help in this destroyed world.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Retired, With Puppy!

We have two super senior dogs. Monita, the Chihuahua, is sixteen, and blind. Toot Toot is 14-15, as per the vet. He is a rescue and we don't have much information, other than he is a Chinese Crested Puff. He looks a lot like a miniature poodle.

These have been my husband's constant companions. They generally sit with him in his recliner and follow him everywhere!

Now that I am retired I decided I wanted a dog of my own. It had to be small and hypoallergenic. We signed up for all the rescue sites (our two other dogs are rescues). We searched the Metro. My area is full of huge dogs, small ones are rare!

Also, I had a budget! And I didn't want another senior dog. We didn't want a puppy, either.

Nothing seemed to open a door for my dog. We saw several, but they were in the Denver area and we couldn't get there before local folks did.

And then hubby opened the paper ( we still get the local paper delivered). There was a color photo of Chihuahua x Shitzu puppies.

Ahh. But we don't want a puppy. They were in my price range, though.

They were still in the paper a few days later, I called, they had one female left, with the silky Shitzu hair. The owner, a rancher up north, was coming to my town to deliver two puppies. If I wanted the female, she would deliver her.

I said yes.

Cutest. Puppy. Ever.  We named her Nutmeg.

Little Chihuahua shaped face, liver and white coloring with amber eyes and pinkish brown nose and lips.  Like many Shitzu's, her dark hair is fading to white on her face and back, so she will be lighter when she is older. Upright fluffy tail. Thick coat, enjoys being outside even on cold mornings. Hates coats, jackets and sweaters! At four months she weighs three pounds. She eats one piece of puppy kibble at a time.

Not sure she is helping me write, lol. I spend a lot of time in the yard, since I am not comfortable leaving her outside alone. We have squirrels that could take her!
I'm sure my body likes the Vitamin D!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Snippet: Daywalker and Rift Series Overview

This is a snippet from a story I've been playing with for some time. I work on several different stories as the mood hits, some I work on for several years. This story is a fantasy, not really urban fantasy because it is set in rural Montana! It is somewhat related to a Vampire Novella I wrote years ago, Single Mom, Vampire Lover, but takes place nearly twenty years later. I don't have a publishing date yet. Have considered having a couple of them finished before publishing. We'll see.

Excerpt Daywalker:

A man wearing an LA County jumpsuit in bright orange woke in a small meadow. 
Around one foot was a plastic hobble restraint attached to a ring around his ankle, but the restraint was broken so his leg motion was free. Orange coverall. Restraints. He’d been in jail. Suddenly the man jumped up, wide-eyed, staring at his surroundings in shock. “What the hell?”
He was at the bottom of a crater, next to a lovely pool of water under a huge tree. A small, grassy meadow surrounded the pool and tree. Beyond the meadow was rubble, climbing up to the edge of a crater, maybe three hundred feet.
 Earthquake? Do those cause craters? 
The sky was weird. To the south, high in the sky, there was a permanent lightning bolt, in a cloudless blue sky. An asteroid? An alien ship? Alien space weapon?
“What is going on?”
He couldn’t remember anything. Not even his name or why he was in prison. Or how he got away.
He decided to try to find...something. Other people, medical help. Since it seemed he couldn't remember a blessed thing. Clothes. I really need clothes. Don’t want some good ol’ boy to shoot the prisoner first, ask questions later.
The clothes he had on were obviously courtesy of the California prison system. Too bad they didn’t have his name on them somewhere. Just a number on the patch on his shoulder.
He trudged across the rough land and up the steep incline, finally coming to a blacktop, which he followed for several miles. Parts of the road were broken up. Crushed cars, flipped cars,  mangled bodies. No living people. The countryside didn’t look like LA, it looked like the Rockies in the distance, but he had no idea how he got there. 
He checked. Mostly Montana license plates. Okay, that explained the mountains. But not how he got here. Last he knew he was an inmate in LA County.
Maybe there was a nuclear war. Maybe I’m right in the hot zone. Fear clutched at him, but there was nothing that could be done.

Would a nuclear war toss him across the country?

Series Overview:

In Single Mom, Vampire Lover, Darlene's son is attacked by a rogue vampire and changed into a vampire to save his life. The Master Vampire who sired him is named Vare. Darlene is pulled into the world of Vampire Clans and eventually marries Vare. 

In the following years, they have two daughters, Harper and Harlow, who grow up with much older brother Brian in Vampire Clan O'Keife. The Clan has many members, vampires, daywalkers, paid blood crew, a few children.

An attack on the main Clan compound causes chaos. Harper and Harlow were not at home at that time, and were whisked away to hiding in Europe.

Then, a supernatural phenomenon, known in prophecy as The Rift takes place. It causes worldwide earthquakes and sudden deaths due to the burst of inhuman magic. Few survive.

I have a few more stories involving the Rift in various stages of completion:

Escape from the Cult: A group of young people, including the seer daughter of a Rift cult leader, run away from the cult just as the Rift forms. 

Shelter with a Vampire: A young woman weathers a tornado and learns her basement neighbor is a vampire. And the tornado was part of The Rift. 

Working title Baby Vamps: Roommates living in a warehouse rescue two Master Vampires held captive in a neighboring warehouse, and a clutch of very dangerous little kid vampires, created by their captors.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Keto Way of Eating Post (Not writing related)

It is the end of August! I thought I would write a post about my way of eating.

2017 after a year of steroids.
June 2019

With siblings July 2019

 I have written before how my asthma doctor told me I should check out weight loss surgery. In ten years my asthma (allergy, inflammatory asthma) had not really been controlled. Nor had my weight changed significantly. But studies had shown that even a 20% loss could significantly reduce asthma symptoms.

Not sure you can see the differences, but I went from a size 24 to a size 14-16. I didn't keep a photolog so you get random pictures! I still have weight to lose and journey onward.

I was not thrilled with the idea of surgery, but I was pretty sick of ER visits and steroids. Steroids raised my blood sugar to diabetic levels, also not good. So I started looking online for anti-inflammatory diets and found keto. Someone I know online had lost a lot on keto, and years ago I had lost weight and kept weight down with a high protein diet. I decided to give keto a try. 

I got some books, read keto Facebook forums, watched all of the Dr. Ken Berry's keto YouTube videos (plus other Doctors on YT) and started.

A week later, my husband joined me. He had lost over a hundred pounds on high protein years ago. Keto is a bit different, being moderate protein, high fat. A keto diet is an insulin regulation diet. Keep insulin normal, no carb/sugar spikes, and fat cells will release fat.

In my first month, I lost 22 lbs. All water from inflammation. Constant arthritis pain in my neck and back vanished. I still have a bad knee, but it improved, too. Asthma, no way to tell, because it was June and almost all of my awful asthma is from October through March, when it is frigid and windy in Casper, WY. Usually, I would catch a cold, develop bronchitis and have recurring bronchitis and asthma exacerbations for months. I was always sick at Christmas.

My goal was to be at a 20% loss by winter, in the hopes fo less asthma. I stuck to the eating plan( which is much easier to do after the initial weeks) and kept losing weight.

I did catch a couple colds. I used my asthma albuterol inhaler a couple times through the entire winter, not a couple times in the morning. No expensive controller meds, no steroids, no antibiotics. For the first time in a decade.

Hubby has diabetes controlled by insulin. He had frequent foot infections, very dangerous ones that led to hospitalizations, pic lines and high level antibiotic IVs. He also got a lot of bladder infections that came on so quickly we had to get to the ER for very high fevers. His diabetic doctor was all for lowering the insulin as he lost weight on 20 carbs or less a day. He takes about 1/6th of the insulin he was on at start. Due to his pancreas, he may never be off insulin, but that is not for certain.

In April I decided to retire early. Having no extreme medical costs in the past winter, I felt confident I could work with a lower insurance plan and lower salary. I picked up a 20 hour a month editing job. The cost savings of premiums and lowered prescription costs basically make up for my old day job, which was stressful and exhausting(medical billing). From $800 a month on rx meds to  $50 or so.

This, along with so much less pain from arthritis, gives a sense of freedom I never thought I would have in my sixties!

By our one year anniversary of keto, I had lost nearly 60 lbs, hubby more than that. Neither of us had been in the ER in the past year. No foot infections or bladder infections for hubby, no asthma other than one day of mild tightness with a cold for me. Both of us still have mobility issues but those are better than in the past. We have no plans to add more carbs and sugar back into our way of eating. Those foods just don't work with our bodies. 

I am not an evangelist for keto. I think people should research for themselves. But I do want to share my experience for those who might be where I was in 2018. 

Happy Trails,