November 02, 2011

BLOG TOUR: Melody's Song by Kendal Ashby

Cassie, Jill, Jeff and Carl: Why BFFs are so vital to a writer!

I love writing YA and mainly that is because of the variety of cast members needed. While writing Melody’s Song I fell in love with Cassie, Jill, Jeff and Carl too! Though the bbf relationship was already formed between Melody and Cassie, and since the story is told from Melody’s point of view, it was great to be able to just jump right into the story with them. Jill is a new friendship that Melody develops when she arrives on campus. Jeff and Carl are Nate’s friends, and Melody gets to see their ‘guy’ relationship as an outsider.

Having strong friendships gives the writer another way to show the main character from a different point of view without having to switch the point of view the story is told in. We learn quickly in the opening chapter that Melody is nervous about her upcoming meeting with the council by the way Cassie offers her support. At the same time, Cassie is excited for Melody and the reader gets to see that this is a huge event and something she should be excited about too. Of course Melody is just way too nervous to see that!

Later in the story, Nate’s friends ban together to support Melody in her quest to help Nate. During various mini scenes and one-on-one conversations with Jeff and Carl, Melody learns more about Nate’s history and family. These are things that wouldn’t be normal for her to ask Nate herself. This is another example of how as a writer I was able to show the reader more information but using a different technique. 

When I started writing YA I was already a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, The Vampire Dairies and The Secret Circle – all of which have very strong and vital BFF threads so it comes naturally for me to want to write what I personally love. J

Thank you for having me on Good Choice Readers. I appreciate the chance to come out and meet some of the readers. Below is a blurb, my website, and an excerpt.

Happy reading!
Kendal Ashby

Back Book Blurb: 
All her life, Melody Cupid has accepted the fact she’ll be forced into the family business as a Love Muse. Then she’s given her first assignment. Instead of making her Charge’s heart flutter for someone, she finds she’s being sent to help Nathan Peterson discover his true career path as a writer.
Even though she believes the Senate is making a mistake by sending her, she gives it her all and soon finds herself in danger of breaking the golden rule of being a Muse by falling in love with her Charge. With only two weeks to complete her assignment, Melody must choose between giving up the life she’s just beginning to build in the mortal world with Nathan or sacrificing her heart to live up to the family name.

Visit my website at

Interested in a copy of Melody’s Song? Available here: Whiskey Creek Press

Excerpt: I wrestled with what excerpt to use and finally settled on a scene where Melody and Cassie are ‘called’ home. Enjoy J

I groped for the zipper, desperate to free the vibrating cell. It could only be Jody. And that couldn’t be good.
Pulling the pink glittery phone free, I sucked in two deep breaths before pressing the text message icon.
„Be ready to V at 9:30. Cassie too.‟
V? Vort? Holy crap! I cancelled the message and flipped the phone open to see the time. Nine-twenty. My heart stopped beating in my chest. When it restarted, it was kicked into over drive, pounding wildly in my ears. “I have to go.”
I threw Nate’s arm off my shoulders, jumped up and dashed toward the bedroom. Without waiting to knock, I threw the door open. I stumbled into the room and covered my eyes so I would not see any naked Kyle butt.
“Cass? Cass! We have to go.” I dared a look through my fingers and was surprised to see a fully clothed Kyle and Cassie lying on top of one of the beds. “Now.”
My friend stared up at me, groggy with sleep. She wiped her hands across her eyes and looked from me to Kyle, then back to me. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”
“No.” I choked out the word. If I wasn’t out of here and somewhere safe in ten minutes, Nate, Kyle, and the whole freaking world would know the truth about us. A fleeting look at my cell phone display showed we only had eight minutes.
Thank God Cass didn’t ask for more information and was already moving by the time Nate caught up with me in the doorway. “What’s the matter?”
“I have to go.”
“Why?” Concern etched his handsome face, making him appear older than his nineteen years.
My mind whirled trying to find a logical reason for our sudden departure. “My mom.”
“Is she okay? Can I help?”
I didn’t want it to come out that way. I couldn’t have him thinking something was fatally wrong, even if in my heart that’s what I feared. I forced myself to calm down, or at least appear calm. “My mom is uber religious and on Sundays I have to meet her for church.”
Nate stared at me with a blank look. “I thought your family lived in Canada?”
Crap. “It’s a teleconference thing from our church. A live internet feed. She’ll never forgive me if I’m late.” I amazed myself at how easy the lie slipped off my tongue. Six minutes. “We really have to go. She’ll never understand if I’m late and with Cass visiting, she’ll expect her there, too.”
“Can’t you just get on the net here?” Kyle spoke for the first time, sleep lacing his voice.
“No, it’ll totally freak her out knowing we spent the night with some boys.” My cheeks flushed hot. “I‟m sorry. I’ll call you.”
Cass moved lightening quick, pulling me down the hall-way.
“‟Bye, Kyle! Email me,” she called over her shoulder but never slowed down as she plucked her shoes from the foyer floor.
I tried to send Nate a message with my eyes. I wanted to convey how much I hated to have to go. Nate. He was still standing at the door, looking shell shocked, but Cass already had me out the door and moving at Mach three down the hallway.
We burst into the empty stairwell. My cell phone said we had one minute. I panted for air. “Wait.”
Cass stopped with her hand on the metal railing and her foot mid-step. She glanced up the fourteen or so floors above us, and then down the six floors to the ground level. “Okay, we’re good here. What’s going on?”
“Jody texted me. We are being Vorted home in like thirty seconds.”
Cass groaned. “I hate Vorting.”
I couldn’t contain a nervous laugh. “Me, too. Why do you think they’re pulling us home?”
“I have to go home anyways. I was hoping for more time, but oh well. But you? Not sure. Did you piss them off?”
“Oh my God, you don’t think they can, you know, see us?”
Cass ruptured in a bout of giggles. “Oh, man, you are so busted. What the heck happened between you two?”
“Me? What about you? We weren’t in the apartment twenty minutes before you and Kyle were locked in the bed-room.”
“You might be surprised. Can you believe…” Cass’s voice trailed off as her eyes glazed over and she stared, dazed, at the cement wall behind me. Familiar panic spiked through me. My vision became fuzzy and unfocused and my body started to vibrate like I was on a wooden roller coaster. Cassie and the stairwell faded from my vision, the dim gray light growing intense white. The light grew so bright, I squeezed my eyes shut, but it pushed through my closed eyelids. Warmth stronger than the blazing sun flared through me until I verged on the edge of passing out.
As quickly as the odd sensation started, it ended.


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