Yearly Archives: 2009

The Van Alen Legacy Trailer!!!

The Van Alen Legacy Trailer is up on EW.com!!!

Go here to watch it!!!

And here’s the link full on: http://shelf-life.ew.com/2009/09/17/van-alen-legacy-melissa-de-la-cruz-blue-bloods-novel/

Thank you to Mandi Bierly and the Shelf Life Blog at Entertainment Weekly for posting it!

Thank you to Hornet, the production company that made it, and especially my dear friend Emmy-award winning animation director Peter Sluszka for directing it!

If you have a blog or Twitter or Facebook, please link to our trailer!!

xoxo
Mel

Twitter Contest, or a Twontest!

Hey all!

I am having a contest over on Twitter. It’s open to those in the NY/NJ/CT area only, or those willing to travel to NYC Sept 30th. The winner gets an invitation good for two people to the fahhhhbulous book launch party my publisher is throwing for me on September 30th in New York City. (If you are under-age, you will have to bring an adult to accompany you.) 5 runners-up will receive a spanking-new copy of The Van Alen Legacy, and that’s open to everyone. We will ship internationally!

Okay. So what are the rules? Well, it’s on Twitter, so you need to follow me there. Okay, it is no longer on Twitter, which has all these crazy rules, but I still like calling it a Twontest, so email me at melissadlcoffice (at) gmail (dot) com subject line TWONTEST : Tell me in 140 characters or less, what fahhhbulous NYC place/restaurant/whatever should be featured in the newest Blue Bloods book that I am writing now MISGUIDED ANGEL. If I like it, I might include it in the book!

Contest is open now, and winners will be announced Sept 20th on Twitter.

What else is happening? Oh, the final version of the Van Alen Legacy synopsis is now up on the site. Go here to see it.

And we are really slow on the emails lately. I’m sorry – my assistants are on vacation, dang them! I can say that because they’re both related to me. 🙂

So, yeah. Van Alen comes out like, really soon, huh? Kind of freaky. I’m so excited for you guys to read this book. Don’t forget, if you buy your books from Target, you’ll get a sticker on your book with the secret password that will access a deleted chapter from the book, posted online. The deleted chapter/ short story (“The Venator’s Tale”) will be available to EVERYONE after three months. I will post it on my site after three months. But because Target has the exclusive promotion (and it was their idea for me to write extra stories or show off my deleted chapters) they have the story for that first brief period. Okay? Okay! I’m sorry if you don’t live near a Target. They ASSURE me if you buy it online from them your book will also have a sticker on it. And international readers—I do apologize that you won’t be able to order from Target since they don’t ship internationally.

Also, I’ll be visiting some fan sites.

I’ll be at the Blue Bloods message boards on Sept 20th, at 3pm PST/ 6pm EST. And at the Blue Bloods Secret on Sept 21st at 3pm PST / 6pm EST. So go join those fan sites or go there on those dates if you want to chat with me and see exclusive sneaks.

If you run a fan site and my assistants have not contacted you, please contact them at melissadlcoffice (at) gmail (dot) com. I know some of them they were not able to find a contact information for the fans running them.

I’ll be posting twit-peeks on Twitter starting Sept 6th.

And we’ll debut the ROCKIN!!! trailer around that time too (we’re shooting for the 6th).

Hope those of you who are back to school are having a fun time. I always loved back to school even if I hated school. Here’s the thing, I was a nerd. I loved school, I loved the books and the classrooms, and I dunno, all that learning I guess. But I hated the social aspect of it. I just loathed it. I just remember dreading school for that reason too. So if you’re going back to school with that knot of dread in your stomach, don’t feel bad. I did too. I felt like throwing up all the time. But you know what, I toughed it out, and you know, as they say, look at the byatch now. I would never wish it on any child, that fear and dread and loathing. But do know that you will survive it and that life gets so much better after high school. And middle school. And elementary school. Really pre-school and college are the only good school-schools aren’t they? Anyway, I have digressed. Have a great back to school.

And lately there has been a lot of talk about having kids read books that they want and teaching those books in the classrooms. I do agree it’s a great idea for kids who don’t want to read, but I also think it’s a bad idea for kids who need to be challenged. I was smart and lazy in school. I was the definition of cruising. I would procrastinate and write all my papers the night before and still make all A’s on all my AP and Honors classes. (Especially once I was a senior and didn’t have to take math ever again!) School for me, at least the achievement-and-accomplishment-resume-building that lands you in the meritocracy and the Ivy League, all of that was easy for me.

This is why when you go to college, and take Logic and Rhetoric, the mandatory freshman writing class, they “shock” you with a C’s. In a room full of valedictorians, no one in the class had ever gotten C’s before. And it’s shocking to find how lazy you have become intellectually. I also think it’s more a psychological trick than anything, since at the end of the semester, we would all magically “improve” to B+s and A-‘s. Except I have to say, my L&R teacher, who said I would have gotten an “A” in the class, except he thought I was a lazy writer. I didn’t try hard enough. He said I had talent, but not diligence, and I was arrogant and clever. And so: B+! I kind of hated him for that. But it did make me wake up. I am not so lazy these days.

Anyway, what I want to say is, for you smart and lazy kids out there: you should be reading The Scarlet Letter and Old Man and the Sea and all those “boring” books that “turn off” people from reading. I did snooze through the Old Man and the Sea but I also loved Kafka’s The Trial, which we read sophomore year, and Camus’ The Stranger, and Grapes of Wrath. How can you not fall in love with Grapes of Wrath? And we read Dubliners our senior year—Dubliners by James Joyce! Some of the most beautiful writing, and when you read it in high school, when you’re still young and impressionable, it’s a wonderful thing. Don’t just read my books, read all the difficult books too. I took a class at Columbia that was basically called “In Praise of the Difficult” and the professor’s idea was that we shouldn’t just try to make everything easier, that we should read difficult texts, complicated texts, to challenge us and to make us think and if it is hard, when you finally ‘get’ it, the appreciation of it is sweeter too.

xoxo
Mel

Tears of Joy! Tears of Joy!

Hey guys,

I know, I haven’t been blogging as much lately. Mostly it’s because I Twitter and it seems to Twitter AND blog is just too much me, me, me stuff. Also, I’ve been dealing with a lot of family stuff. Not just all the weddings and raising a bright and energetic almost-three-year old, but as some of you who have kept up with my blog for a while now know, my dad has been fighting cancer for the last couple of years. It’s one of those low points in his treatment lately. We are all good and Pop is okay but you know how chemo is—lots of complications and side effects. I have a heavy heart these days, and am taking a more reticent route at least blog-wise.

The weird thing about cancer is that you could be totally fine for a day or for most days, and my dad is one of those people who has this great spirit and all we do is laugh and joke about all the crazy things that have happened to him (black humor a family crutch), so most of the time you are pretty much fine. You can read books and watch TV and go to dinner and hang out with your kid and laugh and feel good about the world. But then once in a while you just find yourself sobbing on the couch or while you are driving, as the sadness is just overwhelming. We’ve been pretty lucky so far, as lucky as you can be with the kind of cancer he has, but you know how it goes.

In a way, it has made life sweeter and more bitter. We feel things more. Celebrate more heartily. And regardless of all the crying my family does at weddings they are mostly tears of joy (Or “TEARSOFJOY!TEARSOFJOY!” as my uncle said as he walked my cousin down the aisle.) As for Twittering about cancer, well, that just seems wrong, doesn’t it? So. There it is. I have been shopping a lot (retail therapy another family crutch) but it’s like putting a band-aid on a gaping surgical wound.

Anyway. All the Blue Bloods stuff is incredibly exciting and one of the things that has always consoled me other than the support of my family and friends is my work. It is wonderful to escape into my books and I’m excited for all the Van Alen Legacy events Hyperion is planning, including more fun stuff you will see soon.

I will be Twittering sneak-peeks from Van Alen Legacy every day starting Sept 6th until pub date. Follow me here to get them. And celebrating pub day at the St. Louis County Library with a fabulous ball. Radio Disney will be playing what they assure me will be gothic and vampire-appropriate songs and we can all get dressed up (or not! if you don’t want to dress up – no worries at all!).

What else? Oh I know, I haven’t been answering questions. I’m sorry. It’s been hard to concentrate on anything but the books and my family and friends who have become so dear to me. I will soon. Thank you for sending them and thank you for writing me. I’m sorry it takes me a long time to get back to those who have written me, but I do read all the emails that come in and they brighten my day when I hear from you guys. Also I am going on tour. I’m sorry if I’m going to your neck of the woods this time, but I will be touring again next year and the year after that and hopefully every year so at some point in the future, hopefully I will be visiting your town or a town not too far from yours. It amazed me so much all the kids and parents who drove hours and hours to come to the events, I am humbled and flattered more than you can imagine.

xoxo
Mel

Schuyler named #9 of the 20 GREATEST VAMPIRES OF ALL TIME BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!!

AAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is the sound of a happy author. I love you Entertainment Weekly, I love you so much. I have read your magazine religiously all this last decade, snickering along with all the insider-y jokes, the Bullseye, the Hot List, the Ausiello Files—it’s all so good—and now the love is RETURNED!

Go check out a copy of the AUGUST 7 ALL VAMPIRE EDITION of the magazine! It is amazing!! There is an interview with me, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, PC Cast and Laurel K. Hamilton. (Stephenie Meyer is taking a break from the press these days—so no interview from her.) It’s fun to see what all the other vamp authors think of vampires, and I like how the mag said it’s a woman-centered phenomenon. Very cool!!

As a former journalist, I am just so tickled and flattered—and I get a huge thrill every time I am covered in the magazines I read cover to cover, I still remember the first time I or my work was featured in the New York Observer, The New York Post, Page Six, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Glamour, Newsweek, Time, Teen Vogue, Cosmo and now…Entertainment Weekly!! Maybe that frothy piece in Vogue or Vanity Fair or Harpers Bazaar can’t be that far behind??? Hehe!! I’m ready for my close-up!!

Thank you to all of you guys who have followed the Bloodz through three books already. And now, because I’m in such a good mood, here’s a sneaky-peek at Van Alen Legacy. We are hard at work at our INSANELY COOL trailer which will drop mid Aug or early Sept. So watch this space!

AND NOW….A LITTLE SNEAK PEEK OF THE VAN ALEN LEGACY!

“Jack Force stepped inside. Unlike the other revelers, he was dressed simply, all in black. A Venator’s uniform. His platinum hair was cut short, in military fashion, making his sharp aristocratic features look even more striking. He moved with a natural grace, stalking the edge of the room like a dangerous animal circling its prey. How handsome he was—Schuyler had forgotten. Or maybe she had only imagined she had forgotten.”

Happy Weekend!

xoxo
Mel

I’m Reading on Wednesday July 29, 2009 at Skylight Books in Los Feliz!

July 29, 2009 (7:30 PM)
Reading at Skylight!
1818 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 9002
I will be reading from Eternal Kiss with Cecil Castellucci, Aimee Bender and Lisa Yee!
Here’s the descrip from Skylight: Vampires, freaks, and geeks! A night celebrating the publication of three new anthologies of young adult short stories. Eternal Kiss presents twelve teen vampire tales, Sideshow turns the spotlight on the freaks and outcasts with ten original stories, and Geektastic covers all things geeky with thirteen stories, plus illustrated interstitials. It’s an evening of short fiction for current and former freaks, geeks, nerds, and jocks (and vampires?) alike.

It’s going to be so much fun and a great show!

xoxo
Mel

I don’t Want to be An Artist I want to be a Pop Star

Hello all!

I’m sorry I have not been blogging in a while. It’s just been a very hectic summer. We decided not to rent the beach house this year and instead go on lots of little trips and stay at fabulous hotels all along the coast. It’s been fun but I don’t know if I prefer it in the end. We’ll have to do better next year, we’re thinking of renting a house on St. Bart’s—it’s not high season (or it’s the “wrong” season to go to St.B but who cares? Maybe we’ll bump into SILEX from Real Housewives NYC!!). Anyway…

I have so many questions from you guys… most of them concern when is a movie or TV show of Blue Bloods coming out (not anytime soon)  or a fifth Ashleys book (no, no fifth Ashleys. I’m sorry. But I am writing a short story that will resolve the end of the series and will post it here before the end of the year), or how to pronounce Schuyler’s name (Skyler not Shooler), is covered in the FAQ section. So please look there first to see if any of your questions have been answered.

As for me, it’s been an interesting transition, my kid is almost three years old, and I’ve really been feeling, well, OLD lately. I think if you never have a kid you kind of stay young forever because you have all the time in the world for yourself. But once there is a kid, it’s just different. Part of why being a parent is so difficult now is that, well, we are just older—we had this great life of friends and freedom and then it all kind of crashes down and ends and you’re just sitting on the couch again watching TV.

Mike and I grew up in houses where our parents were home all the time. Not during the first part of my childhood, when my parents were socialites and went out all the time—I only saw my dad, for instance, on Sundays. But once we moved to the US their social life ended and they were just home. And that’s a great feeling, having your parents at home when you’re young. It makes you feel really secure. I remember feeling WORRIED all the time when I was little and not really falling asleep until I heard my parents’ car in the driveway and the gate opening in the middle of the night—I was always WORRIED they would a) never come back or b) get killed while they were out.

So Mike and I are home a lot now. Because we are parents. Sigh. And it’s just other things, like looking older. In my mind I still think I’m this hot cool young thing but lately people are calling me ‘ma’am’ at the Whole Foods. Ma’am!! Who is that??? Don’t I carry a wallet that says I DON’T WANT TO BE AN ARTIST I WANT TO BE A POP STAR EVERYONE IS AN ARTIST THESE DAYS – JOHNNY ROTTEN. Johnny Rotten! Yeah, Johnny Rotten on my wallet! I mean c’mon! I’m still rebellious and cool…and oooh, truffle oil. Yeah. Put that bitch in my basket. Truffle oil!! I am old.

Some of my friends are over forty or turning forty this year which is unacceptable because that means in TWO YEARS I will be forty myself. FORTY!!! SHOOT ME NOW!! And I’m not one of those people who really care about age, really, I’m not a numbers girl. But it’s just…so weird. Like, how did that happen?? WHY GOD WHY??? I loved being twenty-two. God I was cute at twenty-two. And you know it’s so sad to hear formerly attractive women talk about losing their looks because it’s like, oh god, just shut up already. Did anyone else read the Elizabeth Wurtzel piece in Elle about losing her beauty? Fascinating right?

And you know why it’s sad, because even though there are so many beautiful women over 40 like Michelle Pfieffer and Demi Moore and all those ladies, is that even though you are still beautiful, you are still.. OLD. And there’s just something gorgeous about being young. All the young are gorgeous and fresh. And you, beautiful as you are, are old, and should make way for the young and hot to take their turn on the stage.

I remember guys would ask me out on the street, I remember a guy following me all the way down to the subway and asking me out, I remember one guy telling me he saw me at the movies over the weekend and he noticed we always took the same train and could he take me out to dinner? And I remember old rich guys hitting on me at fancy nightclubs. (They were old because they were…what? 32? HA! Although some were um, 52.) And then I met Mike when I was 25 and then you know… you kind of stop exuding that ripe sexy availability…and then it just fades…although you do make an effort to keep looking cute for your husband, who if he is a good guy, will try to notice once in a while (knee-high boots always seem to do it)…but to the rest of the world you’re just…

A Mom. Ma’am.

Growing-up sucks.

I always think EVERYONE ELSE looks old, which is why I can’t seem to make friends with people with kids because they all look like PARENTS! As hip and cool they try to look, they still look like PARENTS! And I can’t be friends with such squares!! PARENTS! And then, I realize I AM A PARENT and I PROBABLY LOOK OLDER THAN THEY DO. ARGGH!

Anyway.

What else am I doing other than worrying about aging. Which for a YA author is like, gross, right? Like shut up already old bag! HA!

Working on BB5 now, and it it’s so fun. Planning our trip to the Venice Biennale this November (which inspired Masquerade). Still weekend-house-hunting in Palm Springs even though it 120 degrees out there. Shopping for my fall wardrobe for my book tour. Contemplating hiring a personal shopper although a personal shopper=crack dealer basically. Missing my friends in New York. Planning a huge launch party. (I loves me a fab launch.) Dropping the kid off at preschool. All is right in the world…

xoxo
Mel

I like Stories About Tragic Rich People, Don’t You? :)

Hello! I answered this question on the Pulse It boards but thought I would re-post here too.

One question that a lot of you guys want to know is: why write about super-rich people?

Well, I have to blame the escapist entertainment of my youth. I have always loved stories about mega-rich, mega-tragic people, like Dynasty, Dallas and Falcon Crest, and when I was a kid, I sneakily read all of my mom’s Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz books. Those books were all about people whose problems were on a larger scale in every way – diamonds, jets, furs, cheating boyfriends of aristocratic heritage. I loved them. The world they showed was so different from the world I lived in.

But also: Not TOO different.

When I was growing up in Manila, my mother’s family lived in a four-mansion estate, walled in and guarded by sentries, and I was brought up on stories of fortunes lost and won, married into and out of, and the strict rules of being in “society”. (An ordinary conversation around the table would be like, “Oh, Lola, she could have married the heir to the [BIGGEST ELECTRIC COMPANY IN THE COUNTRY], he was so in love with her, but she didn’t, and now look what happened.”) It was like a 19th century novel—you know, she could have married Mr. Darcy! My grandfather was from a very wealthy, landed Chinese family, who disowned him for marrying my grandmother, who was Filipino-Spanish. (My grandmother’s family wasn’t too shabby either—she was a debutante and from a prominent Spanish line. But you know, she wasn’t Chinese, which didn’t sit well with my grandfather’s fam.) On my dad’s side, there were vast provincial holdings, real-estate and ties to the Marcos clan, (my grandmother was one of Imelda Marcos’s Blue Ladies – a “lady in waiting”).

When I was little my parents would have our clothes custom-made for three months of travel to Europe. My dad had a tailor in Hong Kong and all his suits made there. Vacations were on private beaches, sometimes private islands (flown there by friend’s private jets). It was this lush, kind of feudal life and it all ended when my dad’s investment bank went under and we had to move to America and become humble immigrants.

But I still remembered what it was like: the chauffeurs, the servants, the entitlement. My parent’s glamorous, crazy parties. My mom teaching me how to put together a dinner menu with our chef. The thought that I would have to learn to cook never crossed either of our minds! All good famiies had personal chefs. What I needed to learn was how to plan dinner menus!

So in a way, my childhood had become, for me, as fantastical as the stories in Judith Krantz’s novels. Because it was gone in a poof. And now we were living in America, working at the mall, and all that ordinary stuff. (I had never seen my mother wash dishes until we moved here.)

My stories are my escape, and also a remembrance of what my life was like, a way to reconnect with my childhood.

xoxo

Mel

The First Chapter of The Van Alen Legacy!

So many people emailed us that we couldn’t keep up with the first chapter requests for Van Alen Legacy. So in the spirit of making everything easy for everyone…I’m releasing the first chapter of the Van Alen Legacy here now, instead of in August.

Blue Bloods:
The Van Alen Legacy
By Melissa de la Cruz

“The murdered do haunt their murderers.”
-Emily Bronte, “Wuthering Heights”

“I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems, got to open my eyes to everything…”
      -Evanescence, “Bring me to Life”

A Conversation

“It is said that Allegra’s daughter will defeat the Silver Bloods. I believe Schuyler will bring us the salvation we seek. She is almost as powerful as her mother. And one day she will be even more powerful.”

“Schuyler Van Alen…the half-blood? Are you certain she is the one?” Charles asked.

Lawrence nodded.

“Because Allegra had two daughters,” Charles said, in a light, almost playful tone. “Surely you have not forgotten that.”

The elder Van Alen’s tone turned cold. “Of course not. But it is beneath you to make sport of such a serious matter as Allegra’s firstborn.”

Charles dismissed Lawrence’s rebuke with a wave. “My apologies. I meant no offense to the dead.”

“Her blood is on our hands,” Lawrence sighed. The events of the day were tiring him, as were the memories of the past. “Only, I wonder…”

“Yes?”

“As I’ve wondered all these years, Charles, if such a one could ever be truly destroyed.”

New York Times
Obituary
Lawrence Van Alen, 105, Philanthropist and Philosopher, Dies

Lawrence Winslow Van Alen, a professor of history and linguistics at the University of Venice, died last night in his home on Riverside Drive in Manhattan. He was 105. His death was confirmed by Dr. Patricia Hazard, his attending physician. The cause of death was listed as advanced age.

Professor Van Alen was a descendant of William Henry Van Alen, known as the Commodore, an American icon and one of the richest men of the Gilded Age, whose wealth came from steamships, railroads and private investment and brokerage businesses. The Van Alens founded the New York Central Railroad Line and what is now Grand Central Terminal. The family’s charitable trust, the Van Alen Foundation, was a cornerstone in the development of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and the New York Blood Bank.

Lawrence Van Alen is survived by his daughter, Allegra Van Alen Chase, a coma patient since 1992, and one granddaughter.

1. SCHUYLER

There had been little time to mourn. Upon returning to New York after Lawrence’s murder in Rio (covered up by the Committee with a proper obituary in the Times), Schuyler Van Alen had been on the run. No rest. No respite. A year of constant motion, barely one step ahead of the venators hunting her. A flight to Buenos Aires followed by one to Dubai. A sleepless night in a youth hostel in Amsterdam followed by another in a bunk-bed in an auditorium in Bruges. 

She had marked her sixteenth birthday aboard the trans-Siberian railway—celebrating with a cup of watery Nescafe coffee and several crumbly Russian tea cookies. Somehow, her best friend Oliver Hazard-Perry had found a candle to light in one of the suharkies. He took his job as human conduit pretty seriously. It was thanks to Oliver’s careful accounting that they had been able to stretch their money so far. The Conclave had frozen his access to the well-funded Hazard-Perry accounts as soon as they had left New York.

Now it was August in Paris, and hot. They had arrived to find the city mostly a ghost town: bakeries, boutiques, and bistros shuttered while their proprietors absconded to three-week vacations in the beaches up north. The only people around were American and Japanese tourists who mobbed every museum gallery, every garden in every public square, inescapable and ubiquitous in their white sneakers and baseball caps. But Schuyler welcomed their presence. She hoped the slow-moving crowds would make it easier to spot their pursuers.

Schuyler had been able to disguise herself by changing her physical features, but performing the mutatio was taking a toll on her. She didn’t say anything to Oliver, but lately she couldn’t even do as much as change the color of her eyes.

And now, after almost a year of hiding, they were coming out into the open. It was a gamble, but they were desperate. Living without the protection and wisdom of the secret society of vampires and their select group of trusted humans had taken its toll. And while neither of them would ever admit it, they were both tired of running.

So for now, Schuyler was seated in the back of a bus, wearing a pressed white shirt buttoned to the neck over slim black pants and flat black shoes with rubber soles. Her dark hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail and except for a hint of lipgloss she wore no make-up. She meant to look identical in every way with the rest of the catering staff who had been hired for the evening.

But surely someone would notice. Surely someone would hear how hard her heart was beating, would remark on how her breathing was shallow and quick. She had to calm down. She had to clear her mind and become the blasé contract caterer she was pretending to be. For so long Schuyler was used to being invisible. But this time her life depended on it.

The bus was taking them to the Hotel Lambert in the Ile-St-Louis. The most beautiful house in the most beautiful city in the world. At least, she had always thought so. Although “house” was putting it mildly. “Castle” was more like it, something out of a fairytale, its massive river walls and grey mansard roofs rising from the surrounding mist. As a child she had played hide-and-seek in its formal gardens, where the conical-sculpted trees reminded her of figures on a chessboard. She remembered staging imaginary productions inside the grand courtyard and throwing breadcrumbs to the geese from the terrace overlooking the Seine.

How she had taken that life for granted. Tonight she would not enter its exclusive, exalted domain as an invited guest, but rather as a humble servant. Like a mouse creeping into a hole. Schuyler was anxious by nature, and it took a tremendous amount of self-control to keep it together. At any moment, she feared she might scream—she was already so nervous she couldn’t stop her hands from trembling. They vibrated, fluttering in her lap, like trapped birds.

Next to her, Oliver was wearing a bartender’s uniform, handsome in a tuxedo with a black silk bowtie and silver shirt studs. But he was pale underneath his butterfly collar, his shoulders tense underneath a jacket that was a little too big. His clear hazel eyes were clouded, looking more grey than green. Oliver’s face did not display the same blank, bored look as the others. He was alert, ready for a fight or flight. Anyone could see it if they looked at him long enough.

We shouldn’t be here, Schuyler thought. What were we thinking? The risk is too great. They’re going to find us and separate us…and then…well the rest was too horrible to contemplate.

She was sweating under her starched shirt. The air-conditioning wasn’t working and the bus was packed. She leaned her head against the windowpane. Lawrence had been dead for over a year now. Four-hundred forty-five days. Schuyler kept count, thinking that maybe once she hit a magical number it would stop hurting.

This was no game, although sometimes it felt like a horrid surreal version of cat and mouse. Oliver put a hand on top of hers, to try and stop her hands from shaking. The tremors had begun a few months ago, just a slight twitching whenever she did something with her hands, and later she realized she had to concentrate whenever she did something as simple as pick up her fork, or open an envelope. Anxiety made it worse, and nothing seemed to help.

She knew what it was. Dr. Pat had told her the first time she visited her office: she was the only one of her kind, Dimidium Cognato, the first half-blood, and there was no saying how her human body would react to the transformation into immortal, there would be side-effects, obstacles particular to her case.

Still, she felt better once Oliver held her hand in his. He always knew what to do. She depended on him for so much, and her love for him had only deepened in the year they had spent together. She squeezed his hand, intertwined her fingers around his. It was his blood that ran through her veins, his quick thinking that had secured her freedom.

As for everyone and everything they had left behind in New York, Schuyler did not dwell on it anymore. All that was safely in the past. She had made her choice and was at peace with it. She had accepted her life for what it was. Once in a while she missed her friend Bliss Llewellyn very keenly, and more than once wanted to get in touch with her. But that was out of the question. No one could know where they were. No one. Not even Bliss.

Maybe they would be lucky tonight. Their luck had held so far. Oh there were a few close calls here and there—that one evening in Cologne when she’d run abruptly from a woman who had asked for directions to the cathedral. Illuminata had given the agent away. Schuyler just caught that soft imperceptible glow in the twilight before booking it the other way. Disguises only went so far. At some point, your true nature revealed itself.

Wasn’t that what the Inquisitor had argued during the official investigation into the events in Rio? That maybe Schuyler wasn’t who she was supposed to be?

Outlaw. Fugitive. That’s who she was now. Certainly not Lawrence Van Alen’s grieving granddaughter.

No.

According to the Conclave, she was his killer.

You are order the book from Target, B&N, Amazon, Books-A-Million and IndieBound!

It is out October 6, 2009!

More sneak peeks to come!

xoxo
Mel

One Question. Many Answers.

Jenna asks, “Out of the three Blue Bloods books, which was your favorite to write and why?”

Thanks for asking! I have to say, the current book is always my favorite one to write, just because it’s so fresh in my memory. But I will say that Van Alen Legacy, while exhausting, taking a LOT out of me and my family and my sanity, was mostly pretty fun and I felt I had a good rhythm to my days when I was writing it. Work proceeded well, from outline to first draft to final draft.

The hardest book of the series to write was Revelations, mostly because so many more people had read the series by then, and I felt the WEIGHT of anticipation and the PRESSURE of having to deliver a book that pleased my editor, my readers, and myself, very very keenly. I was a bit paralyzed by all the attention. I would stare at my computer screen and do… nothing.

But this time: I felt a lot freer, just to enjoy the story and to enjoy the work, and to be able to shrug off the pressure a little bit. I don’t know if I got used to the pressure and adapted to it, or I just did what my family always does in times of stress: HIDE IN DENIAL. But somehow, I just didn’t worry so much anymore about what people would think of the book, I just worried about the book itself. And I’m quite pleased with it. It has everything I enjoy in books, in that it is very book-y in its pleasures. You will see.

I don’t remember writing Masquerade as being particularly easy, although I tell everyone it was the easiest book of the series to write. I was very pregnant when I wrote it and I remember HOISTING myself off the couch and LUMBERING over the computer and GRUMBLING while I wrote. I was pregnant! I wanted to nap! I was tired of my book! But it worked out okay in the end.

For Blue Bloods—at this point I don’t even remember what writing it was like as it was so long ago. Once a book is done it kind of fades from my memory. But I do remember writing it when I was a member at The Office, this swanky little writer’s office in Brentwood, and going shopping during breaks at the Country Mart, to Calypso and James Perse and coming back with shopping bags. The Office was filled with Hollywood screenwriters and it was kind of fun to see the sign-in sheet and see writers’ names I recognized, (and some faces too). Chris Henchy, EP of Entourage and hubby of Brooke Shields was always there. As was Sarah Dunn, whose books I love but I was too shy to say hi to.

Right now I am enjoying revising Angels Lie, the sequel to Angels on Sunset Boulevard.

xoxo
Mel

Booklist Girl Review!

Girl Stays in the Picture.
de la Cruz, Melissa (Author)
Jun 2009. 416 p. Simon & Schuster, hardcover,  $16.99. (9781416960966). 

De la Cruz provides perfect summer reading for celebrity-obsessed teens in this story of four girls—two
celebs, one fresh from rehab; a naive assistant; and a film producer’s suddenly svelte daughter—during a
summer film shoot in Saint-Tropez. Each girl has a boy to yearn for, and each gets the fate she
deserves. Along the way, de la Cruz deftly skewers many of today’s young celebrities and adds a Gossip
Girl feel with tabloid articles and tidbits from movie magazines. The rapid pace, thinly disguised parodies
of current teen celebrities, and “big fat summer read” look fairly plead for this book to be taken to the
beach.

— Booklist

YAY! Booklist! Woohoo!

I love a good review—and I love being called “perfect summer reading.” I grew up on big fat beach novels. Yeah!

xoxo
Mel