Melanie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and earned her MA in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She spent the first six years after graduate school as a middle school counselor. Those were years she deems as some of the best years of her life. That is, until she had children of her own. The last seven years have been spent as a stay-at-home mom. She has learned some tough life lessons, like what the inner absorbent pellets of a diaper look like scattered in the washing machine. She has also learned the strength of the willpower of a two year old lacking a nap. Through it all, Melanie has learned how to roll with the punches and appreciate the time she has been able to spend at home with her children.
Now that her last child has started Kindergarten, Melanie is ready to add a new chapter in her life. That chapter begins with her debut novel—So Much It Hurts.
Popping the top off his own bottle, he leaned toward me, his voice gravelly, “I mean, come on. I’m not gonna dance around it. You’re beautiful.”
I nearly choked on my beer, but quickly recovered, masking my freaking-the-hell-out face with a subtle smile.
He continued, nervously glancing at the beer in his hand. I wondered if he was praying to the gods of liquid courage like I was. “Salem, you’ve…you’ve always been sexy as hell,” he stammered. “You had to know how hot all the guys at Fairbanks thought you were, and you probably just chalked it up to some silly teenage fantasies.” His eyes shot up to meet my gaze. “But I hope you know that you meant way more to me than that.”
I nodded. I understood where he was coming from because he’d always meant more to me than ‘just some client.’ He was my saving grace.
“You were more to me too,” I said softly.
Continuing to stir up my already mixed emotions, he added, “You were my lifeline back then.”
He stood up, walking over to the massive windows. Leaning both hands against the glass, he stared out at the city for several seconds. “And yet, here we are again…crossing paths.”
Without thinking, I spoke what had been on my mind all night, “Does it make you question fate?”
He whirled around to face me. A brooding expression was plastered on his face, and he seemed just as perplexed as I was. With each ragged breath, his sculpted pecs rose and fell, defining themselves in his fitted, thermal shirt. Finally speaking up, he said, “Yeah…yeah, it does.”
Suddenly the air between us changed. I soaked in the way he looked at me with a softness in his eyes. The expression on his face was different than the canned smile he normally used to pose for the cameras of his adoring fans. This smile was warm, inviting, comforting—a smile meant just for me.
What does all this mean?
Part of me felt so ridiculously wrong, but then again, another part of me felt so utterly, hopelessly…right.
And Then There Was You by Charlie McIver
25 Random Facts about Melanie
2. I was adopted as a baby. I never knew anything about my biological family until five years ago my bio mom hired a private investigator to find me.
3. I have a phobia of butterflies…don’t laugh…ok, laugh. I know you probably already are anyway.
4. I always wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. I was even a candy striper at the local hospital when I was in high school.
5. I went to UNC-Chapel Hill. I was so homesick the first year that I almost quit and came home, but I didn’t.
6. I wish I knew how to read music.
7. I have a major celebrity crush on Channing Tatum.
8. I like strange food combinations, like Pineapple dipped in Ranch dressing. I also like to eat potato chips with French Onion dip while drinking a big glass of Orange juice.
9. I used to race Soap Box Derby when I was younger.
10. I was once a State Bowling Champion in my division when I was in middle school, but the last time I went bowling with my kids I barely scored 100!
11. I’m a stay at home mom with a Master’s degree…and I wouldn’t change a thing about that!
12. I detest laundry…don’t mind washing and drying, but I LOATHE folding and putting away.
13. My all-time favorite restaurant is The Melting Pot!
14. A few of my all-time favorite movies are: Titanic, Romeo+Juliet, 13 Going on 30, Saving Private Ryan, and Step Up.
15. Songs that always move me to tears are: Everything by Lifehouse, And Still by Reba McEntire, That’s Me by Martina McBride, Kissing You by Des’ree, and You’re Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins.
16. I have been an avid reader since I started reading The Babysitter’s Club books when I was younger. Some of my all-time favorite books are: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? By Peter Hedges, Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller, the Faith on the Homefront Series by Penelope Stokes, and the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer.
17. I was Team Jacob BEFORE the movies.
18. When I retire my dream would be to move to FL and work at Disney World.
19. When I go to Sweet Frog, I always get the Cake Batter flavored frozen yogurt topped with Heath bits.
20. My first baby weighed 10 lbs. 7oz. He was the biggest baby my doctor had ever delivered.
21. The two songs I currently will not change the station for: Sail by Awolnation and Clarity by Zedd.
22. I’m growing my hair out to donate to Locks of Love. It’s almost long enough…
23. I currently don’t have any tattoos. A friend of mine keeps trying to talk me into changing that.
24. My first car was a 1995 Dodge Neon. My mom won the car in a contest! Crazy story…
25. I have always been one to love easily, forgive easily, and make friends easily…almost to a fault…