I recently had the great pleasure of reading Into the Storm by Melanie Moreland. Her compelling tale of an abused wife finding shelter with a reclusive writer was one of my favorite reads of 2013.
- Title: Into the Storm
- Author: Melanie Moreland
- ISBN13: 9781927901229
- Series: Stand Alone
- Published: November 2013 by Createspace
- Format: eBook
- Genre/s: Contemporary Romance
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Source: Netgalley
- Rating: B+
For longer than he can remember, reclusive writer, Joshua Bennett has been trapped in a prison of his own making by the memories of his past. Traumatized and isolated, he’s spent his days living a quiet, lonely existence, his only companion his dog, Bear.
Pain and Solitude are all he knows, what he’s accepted to be his life, until one dark night, one huge storm, and one ice patch change his course forever.
When he finds an unconscious woman at his doorstep, Joshua Bennet has no choice but to bring the woman into his home and away from the dangerous elements that threaten to claim her life.
A stranger to herself and the man watching her, the woman has no memory, no identification, and no idea how she got there.
Trapped by the storm and isolated from the outside world, they both learn what it means to trust and love, slowly letting each other in and breaking down barriers.
Can they heal each other completely before the outside world threatens to shatter the fragile peace of their newly discovered love, and tears them apart?
Prize: 2 Print Copies of Into the Storm w/ signed bookmarks, 2 Ebook Copies of Into the Storm, 3 signed bookmarks
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PD: Tell me a little about yourself?
MM: I am from Winnipeg originally. We moved to Ontario about 25 years ago. I work at a local University where I handle all the box office needs for their sporting events. Aside from what I do at work, I am hopeless with computers. I find the language and logistics way over my head. I am even cell phone challenged. I love to bake and cook and I occasionally cater an event for friends. And I write. I write all the time.
PD: What are you working on now?
MM: I have started a new book. It is still in the early development stage. I have about 9 chapters written.
PD: Is it a departure from Into the Storm?
MM: There is still romance and a bit of a mystery- not like Into the Storm, but some different factors. The main character is not an overly kind person for reasons the readers will discover as they get to know and understand him.
PD: What made you start writing? When did you start and why?
MM: I used to write short stories all the time in school and I enjoyed it a great deal. But real life and time stepped in and I sort of put it aside, but I was always making up stories in my head about things that happened around me and piqued my curiosity. About 2 and ½ years ago after a friend encouraged me to try writing an idea I had, and I opened my computer and started to write.
PD: I have noticed that many Canadian authors opt to set their books in the U.S. you didn’t, why?
MM: There is so much beauty here, and I know more about Canada. The area I set Into in has some of the most beautiful settings you have ever seen. It is also well known for the fast, hard storms they are subjected to in the winter, making it the perfect backdrop for the story. For people in the US it is like reading about a foreign country, but I am more comfortable using it as the setting.
PD: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
MM: Well if I could be humorous for a moment, I, perhaps, would not be so wordy. And I will leave it at that.
PD: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
MM: So many things every writer goes through I think. You can only use artistic license to a point. I had to make sure there was an airport close for accuracy, I had to check and make sure time lines and travel times were accurate. I even did the drive I described, then added in time for the severe weather. My husband and I had experienced a near- skid out the previous winter so I already knew how confused it could leave you when you were in a okay frame of mind, never mind when you were on the run and injured. Trying to put myself in the mindset of someone who had no recollection of their life and understand how quickly she fell for Josh when she knew on some level she could already be part of another life was hard at times, and I often had to stop and ask myself if I correct in my thought patterns. The same with Josh. I had to look into his disease and understand it a little before I could write a character that had it.
PD: Joshua was not your standard alpha male hero, what made you decide to feature a character suffering from agoraphobia?
MM: I like flawed characters. When I had the idea about two people trapped in a storm, I knew how to get her to him, but my questions was why would he not leave to go with her? Watch over her from a close distance? The answer was of course he couldn’t, because of his fear. His back-story followed.
PD: Which authors have influenced you the most?
MM: Growing up I read anything I saw my mom read. Romance and mystery were her favorites and as a result became mine. I have loved so many authors over the years, but not sure one particular one influenced me. Except I wanted to write something as good as many of them. I wanted to help someone else lose themselves in another world for a while as so many did for me.
PD: What’s on your To Be Read shelf?
MM: I literally have a stack of books beside my bed that is higher than my mattress. And I have about five books on the go right now, not to mention the list of waiting to be read ones on my kindle.
PD: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-L-Moreland/512254118848084
- Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/melaniemoreland
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MelanieMoreland
Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.
While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.
Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.