BioMelinda R. Cordell lives in northwest Missouri with her wonderful little family, a fluffy white dog, a laid-back cat, and two red hens. Her nonfiction book, Courageous Women of the Civil War: Soldiers, Spies, Medics, and More, is available from Chicago Review Press. She graduated from Hamline University with an MFAC for writing for children, and her stories and articles have appeared in magazines like Organic Gardening, Birds and Blooms, Heirloom Gardener, Grit, Highlights, and Cricket. She is working on about 42 more books even as you are reading this. Or maybe she is sleeping. Heaven knows she needs it.
*drops use of 3rd person POV*
Anyway, that's the stuffed-shirt version of my bio. I'm just dropping in to let you know that though my main interest is writing novels for middle-school and high-school readers, I'm really all over the map. On the nonfiction side I'll write about Civil War history but mainly gardening. (I worked about half my life in horticulture.)
I've been writing for 20 years now, but I got into self-publishing in September 2016 and have been over the moon about it ever since. Right now I'm laying the foundation for my future books. I'll be releasing some older books and writing a bunch of gardening stuff, but my big goal right now is to write Meira's trilogy. It's freaking me out a little bit because it generally takes me a year to write a good book. To be honest, I'm a little scared about being able to write, revise, and release a whole trilogy in the space of two years. If you-all are up to giving me a hand along the way, I'd sure appreciate it.
Thanks for reading!
Free Book Giveaways
Assassin's Blade preview!
An enterprising young dragonrider sees her father kidnapped before her eyes -- so she pulls her assassin grandmother out of retirement and puts a hit out on the kidnappers to rescue him.
Three months after her cousin Toni died, Cassie is still reeling. Toni's best friend now ignores her in the halls. Cassie's cousin is dating the girl who torments her in gym. And Cassie has maybe a teeny-tiny crush on the boy who found Toni in the river.
Then Toni's ghost visits Cassie and reveals that in two nights, a powerful EF3 tornado will rip into a dance hall, killing those three kids.
Cassie sets out to keep everyone from going to the dance. As she argues and cajoles (and stockpiles minor munitions to clear the building, just in case) she uncovers stories about her friends' connections with Toni - and all the reasons they refuse to skip this awesome dance. Why does everyone have to be so bullheaded!
In the Midnight Hour *sample*
Remy is a fast-talking genius who solves mysteries with the help of the Trapped Dead and his owl, Hinto. He makes a great living at doing so ... until one of his investigations gets too close to the wrong people.
Sarae is still reeling from the loss of her family. But an owl teaches her how to free the dead, and she finds solace in her work. She's sure she's the only one with this gift, until she meets Remy, who's on the run.
Their meeting unlocks a new mystery involving some missing girls, and they're forced to work together -- and the sparks fly. But time is running out for the girls. Monsters are on the rampage in the night forest, and an ancient power is rising ... one that is more powerful than Sarae, Remy, or their owls.
Rural Missouri don't play around ....
Rose to the Occasion: An Easy-Growing Guide to Rose Gardening
Roses are the Queen of Flowers. They're beautiful, fragrant, and elegant - and roses require all the pampering of a real Queen, don't they?
Actually, they don't!
Rose gardening can be easy and pleasant. I've worked 25 years in horticulture and cared for over 300 roses in a public rose garden when I was municipal horticulturist. I found ways to keep rose gardening fussbudgetry to a minimum while growing vigorous roses that bloomed their heads off. Rose to the Occasion: An Easy-Growing Guide to Rose Gardening shares tricks and shortcuts that rosarians use, plus simple ways you can keep up with your to-do list in the rose garden.
Gardeners of all skill levels will find this book helpful, whether they be beginning gardeners or old rosarians, whether they have a green thumb or a brown thumb.
Acorn fights like the ancient warriors – as a yearling, he doesn’t have the weight to throw around – and loves the stories of the warriors, the Qelvska, who began the line of chieftains that now rule the raccoon tribes everywhere. Power and strength are Acorn’s goals – but then Catface, the leader of the outlanders, attacks him and gave him the outlander’s bite, the mark given to raccoons cast out of their tribes. Though Acorn did no wrong, his tribe shuns him. When another raccoon steals the chieftainship and exiles Acorn, he lashes back by stealing away the sister of death, which Catface was calling forth. War brews between outlanders and tribal raccoons, and Acorn knows that the only ones that suffer will be the innocents.
Gardening Month by Month: Growing Great Flowers, Vegetables, and Houseplants
Written by a horticulturist/rosarian with 20+ years of experience in horticulture (who now has a trick back because of it), Gardening Month by Month lays out general gardening tips and tricks through the whole year. Are you planting vegetables, growing orchids, finding organic ways to care for your lawn, trying to raise fragrant roses? This book lays out what you need to know. Written for the beginning gardener, but also with plenty of information for the more advanced gardener.
Don't Throw In the Trowel!: Vegetable Gardening Month by Month
First: You know more about gardening than you think.
Second: A garden – the soil – plants – all of these are very forgiving. When it comes down to it, you can make a lot of mistakes and still come out with good results.
This book is a month-by-month guide to vegetable gardening, with info on seeds, transplanting, growing, and harvesting, as well as diseases, garden pests, and organic gardening. I also talk about garden prep, because a good plan, a garden notebook, and a little off-season work will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
I've worked in horticulture for 20 years, as a landscape designer and installer, a greenhouse tech, perennial manager, & city horticulturist/rosarian. This book shares what I've learned so far.
Perennial Classics: Planting and Growing Great Perennial Gardens
Perennials are the backbone of the garden -- a low-maintenance, long-growing mainstay that the garden revolves around. I've worked with perennials for 20 years, as a manager in the perennials section at the local nursery, and then as a municipal horticulturist in charge of over 20 gardens around the city. I've grown perennials from seed, potted them bare-rooted, divided them, deadheaded them, treated them for diseases and pests. Everything I've learned over the years I share here in this book -- Perennial Classics.
This is a sample of the full book, BUT to give you more bang for your buck, I've also added chapters from the other books in the Easy-Growing Gardening series. You'll find a good 100 pages of quality gardening information plus lovely illustrations.
The Flame of Battle PREVIEW!
Dyrfinna is a born commander. She bests her peers in dragon riding, sword fighting, and battle strategy. So when the Queen calls the people of Skala to battle to revenge her murdered daughter, Dyrfinna outfits a ship and brings a crew.
Once in the field, Dyrfinna leads her troops to victory in a series of hard-fought battles against overwhelming odds. Yet a commander is raised over her, and because of his clumsy leadership, a great disaster results in the massacre of a quarter of the Queen's army. Then the commander unfairly blames a second disaster on Dyrfinna. The wrong stroke of her sword could undo everything she's ever worked for, earn her the fury of her friends ... and exile to certain death.
But when things are darkest, a flame rises out of the desolation.
The First Changeling
This is a sample of a book that's in process -- I hope to have it out next year. Companion volume to The Seraphim Changelings.
Gabe Erskine has a normal small-town life in Seraphim, with good parents and a grandpa that he thinks the world of. But when he wakes up as a horse, unable to communicate with his parents or grandpa, with no explanation as to what happened, that world is gone in a flash. Now Gabe is out to try to find a way to communicate -- especially when other kids vanish, leaving animals in their place. And he's fighting to find out why this is happening, while bringing together other threatened Changelings.
What You Can't Take Back
To Zanny, being in seventh grade is like having a bit part in Village of the Damned. After mortifying herself for the millionth time, she makes a desperate wish for a defender and friend. She never expects her older self to show up – especially not as a ghost fresh from a car wreck. Seventh grade was bad enough, but now Zanny is frantic to change her future so she doesn’t die young.
To top it off, Zanny’s ghost warns her that in two days, a tornado will rip into a dance hall, killing three classmates: Big Mike, the cousin who is going out with Zanny’s worst enemy; Jake, the boy she has a crush on; and Liza, the one girl who was nice to her during her darkest days of seventh grade. Zanny has to go against her shy, scared nature to sabotage the dance by any means necessary.
Those Black Wings
Kay Bachmann leaps into her freshman year of college, eager to start fresh and be the girl she’s always wanted to be. She meets Carter, who falls for her like a skydiver with a busted parachute. He sweeps her away in a whirlwind romance, and before Kay can think straight, they’re going on dates.
Then she meets her old friend Wyatt again – who she’s loved desperately for so long. Kay tries to break free of Carter, but he raises the emotional ante and attempts suicide in front of her. That act pulls her right back to his side.
Kay knows she cannot stay with Carter. She knows that his next attempt may be fatal. But she wants, above all, to live her life on her own terms – not on somebody else’s.
Why Can't My Life Be a Romance Novel?
Kathy, whose brain is over-saturated with Victorian novels, falls for Wyatt, the boy with all the verbs. It's your classic case of a shy gal running screaming from love.
The Seraphim Changelings
When Meira wakes up as a raccoon, her mom chases her out with a broom. She’s a Changeling, like hundreds of other junior high kids who have mysteriously turned into animals all around the world. Scientists work frantically to figure out if there’s any way to change them back.
And controversy is storming over the Midwest Animal Labs in Seraphim, Meira’s hometown, that the right-wing government of the Constitutional States of America says is a front for ecoterrorism and must be shut down. The whole operation is a powder keg, and all it’s on the verge of exploding -- with the worst results for the Changelings.
I will be rewriting this single novel and making it into a full trilogy featuring each of the main characters, and it's going to be epic.