The Launch of My Book! And a Giveaway!

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I’m thrilled to announce the release of my book, which is now available on!
The title of my book is An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past.  It’s a combination of both my writing and altered art, and I’m so happy to see the project come to fruition!

About the Book (from the back cover)

An Altered Existence is a collection of short stories, each illustrated with a vintage photo.  These photos, also known as cabinet cards, were “orphans” collected from flea markets and antique stores.  They sparked the author’s imagination, and resulted in 14 short stories illustrated with photos “altered” by the author.

  • A photo of a bearded man with haunted eyes is paired with a silver key, and a story of a family with hoarding tendencies emerges.
  • A wedding portrait of a young couple, combined with a gold wedding band and the words “false” and “true”, yields a tale about a gentle schoolteacher who sets her small town’s rumor mill on fire when she poses for a photo with a local scoundrel, though they’re not engaged or married.
  • A young girl’s portrait, when paired with vintage buttons, births a story that many can relate to: loss, and the subsequent struggle to feel whole again.

Look into these 14 portraits from long ago, and venture into the “altered existences” they inspired.  This collection includes stories about life, love, birth, death, self-acceptance, salvation, and taking chances.  Their stories just may be our stories, too…*


In honor of the launch/release of my book, I’m going to give away THREE signed copies!  In order to enter, simply leave a comment here on this post.  The winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, so please enter by Monday, March 4th.  Good luck!

Please spread the word!

I’d really appreciate it if you’d share the news about my new book with family, friends, fiction readers, book clubs, and artists – anyone that might enjoy my illustrated collection of short stories.  Thank you in advance!
I hope you all have a wonderful week…*
Warm regards,
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  1. Posted February 19, 2013 at 6:49 am by Teri | Permalink

    How exciting! Congratulations! I will spread the word about your book. Thanks for the chance to win one!

  2. Posted February 19, 2013 at 8:03 am by Vanessa KiKi | Permalink

    brilliant ideas, and great inspiration for art and paintings to come!

    Congrats!! and much success!!

    Vanessa KiKi Johanning

  3. Posted February 19, 2013 at 8:09 am by Karlene Boss | Permalink

    How Awesome. What a great idea. Congrat to you!!!

  4. Posted February 19, 2013 at 9:06 am by Pam Morgan | Permalink

    The cover is awesome steampunk! Don’t think I can wait until your Lincoln book signing to get a copy. Congratulations!

  5. Posted February 19, 2013 at 9:26 am by Denise | Permalink

    Can’t tell you how thrilled I am for you! Can’t wait to get a copy in my hands, then disappear into my sewing room (only place I am relatively undisturbed!) for several hours to pore over the pages. And thanks for the opportunity to win a signed copy!

  6. Posted February 19, 2013 at 9:35 am by Terry | Permalink

    Yay Melody!!! I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to see the finished product! And if I win a signed copy, I’ll give the copy I just ordered from Amazon to another avid reader and spread the word. Congratulations!!

  7. Posted February 19, 2013 at 9:48 am by Barbara | Permalink

    Hooray, you did it! Wishing you much success with the sale of your first book.

  8. Posted February 19, 2013 at 9:52 am by Linda | Permalink

    Congratulations!! I am so excited for you!! I love the artwork and can’t wait to see what’s inside. I wouldn’t expect anything less than amazing from such a talented human being. Wishing you continued success sweet Melody.

  9. Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:18 am by Jani N. Howe | Permalink

    Much good luck with the sale of your book, Melody! It sounds like a fun read!!

  10. Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:25 am by Darlene Armstrong | Permalink

    Holy Moly! Melody’s book is now for sale!!
    Can’t wait to read it .

  11. Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:43 am by Sherry Winchester | Permalink

    I can’t wait to have this in my hands! This looks absolutely delicious, Melody! Wow, what a terrific project you’ve completed! Bravo! Bravo!

  12. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:18 am by Susan Midlarsky | Permalink

    Many congratulations! What a great concept. And I’m sure it’s beautiful in its execution.

  13. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:30 am by Gabriela Luna | Permalink

    Huge congrats, Melody! wishing you the best. Abrazo!

  14. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:41 am by Jo Murray | Permalink

    Congratulations Melody! A unique and eminently collectable book. I have my fingers crossed, but good luck to all.

  15. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am by Tanya P. | Permalink

    WooHoo! Congratulations! Can’t wait to check it out!!!

  16. Posted February 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm by Dorothy Dobson | Permalink

    Hi Melody, how exciting for you. It seems we have a friend in common in Barb Langan. she sent me notcie of your book as well. I am so happy for you. Best of luck to you and to me in the contest.

  17. Posted February 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm by ShariKai | Permalink

    This is awesome! I love historical fiction types of books and look forward to reading yours. I’m not a big blogger but will certainly try to keep up with yours.
    Congrats on your new release!


  18. Posted February 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm by Amie | Permalink

    Such a fabulous idea to combine two things you are passionate about. Congratulations!

  19. Posted February 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm by Elizabeth Parsons | Permalink

    Best wishes and congratulations!

  20. Posted February 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm by Robin E. | Permalink

    Melody – congrats on the book – can’t wait to read and see it!!

  21. Posted February 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Barbara | Permalink

    Congratulations Melody. Can’t wait to read it.

  22. Posted February 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm by Lesley L | Permalink

    Congrats on getting your book published. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. I wish you many successes.

  23. Posted February 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm by lorraine kushynksi | Permalink

    Congratulations Melody! So exciting – I always feel sad when I see those old photos left with no names and no stories… Such a great idea! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win one of your books too.
    Best of luck, Lorraine

  24. Posted February 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm by Azizah A. | Permalink

    Congratulations! You already know I’m a huge fan of yours hehe. I will spread the word 😀

  25. Posted February 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm by bev b | Permalink

    Congrats! It’s very interesting cause I would have never thought you’d do a book like this. I’m sure it will do well! I’d love to win one. Spreading the word for ya!

  26. Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm by Kim | Permalink

    Congratulations! You are such an inspiration! You have taught me, as a not-so-artistic grade one/two teacher, to embrace art and just go for it. This is then past onto my students and all of us benefit. I can imagine writing a book is also scary, but you did it! Way to go! I look forward to reading it even if I am not one of the lucky receivers. 🙂

  27. Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm by Mary | Permalink

    Congratulations! I am so excited for you and wish you the very best. The cover looks great. Wishing you much success, which I believe will come.

  28. Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:47 am by Carol | Permalink

    Melody, the cover of your book is wonderful and it sounds great. Congratulations, I hope your book does really well. I look forward to reading it.

  29. Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:10 am by The Creative Beast | Permalink

    Hello, I just learned about you and your creative book through the yahoo group and just wanted to say congratulations on your publishing achievement! Your book idea reminds me of the many vintage photos I’ve collected that started some stories in my head…I collected the photos to use for art or cards and I’m now inspired to return to that idea after hearing about your book. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book!
    PS: I love your art program of art journals for at-risk youth!

  30. Posted February 20, 2013 at 8:29 am by CyLee | Permalink

    Excited to get this book. Hope Honey sees it on my wish list! Would be a perfect gift.

  31. Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:46 am by Rebeca | Permalink

    Would love to be included in the drawing for your wonderful new book.
    Love the concept, i often will find myself doing the same thing around vintage photographs.
    Much success to you!

  32. Posted February 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm by Debbie | Permalink

    Congratulations to you, my dear friend! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book…and I want one signed by YOU whether I win one or not…I’ll be in touch!
    Sending big hugs your way…

  33. Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm by Karen Pruzansky | Permalink

    Hi Melody, Congratulations! These are exciting times for you. I look forward to reading your book and spreading the word.

  34. Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:18 am by Angela Brandt | Permalink

    Congrats!!!! I cannot wait to read it! I love the whole concept!!!! No book about bunnies, huh? Saving that for the next one? :0)

  35. Posted February 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm by Marilyn Ghere | Permalink

    I can understand how vintage photographs got your imagination going. But to go on and write stories to bring the photos to life is a real accomplishment. I, too, am looking forward to reading your book.

  36. Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm by karin@yumandmore | Permalink

    Dear Melody, what a wonderful book idea! I would be honored to receive a signed copy! I so admire your scrapbook work with the kids and your dedication to enlightening their lives through art! looking forward to reading your short stories. well done!
    best regards from Germany

  37. Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm by Chuck Perez | Permalink

    Melody, is there no end to your talent. I’m really impressed!
    You go girl!

  38. Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm by mayah | Permalink

    congratulations on your new book!! thanks for the chance to win one!

  39. Posted February 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm by karen pruzansky | Permalink

    Hi Melody, Your book arrived today and I read the first story. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the story and the characters, and of course the wonderful altered photo. You would not believe how the story resonated with me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book. Karen

  40. Posted February 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you so much for commenting and sharing that with me. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book so far! I hope you enjoy the other 13 stories just as much. :] And thank you for purchasing my book!

  41. Posted February 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm by Ella | Permalink

    Congrats Melody!
    I am thrilled for you~
    It sounds amazing

  42. Posted February 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm by rebeca trevino | Permalink

    got your email, thanks again for being an inspiration to us all!

  43. Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm by Marie Withrow | Permalink

    Congratulations! It sounds like a fascinating book!

  44. Posted February 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm by Sandi Kiefer | Permalink

    Congratulation and Much Success!!!
    So excited for you!

  45. Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:42 am by Evette Rice | Permalink

    Congratulations on your book. It looks fantastic.
    Do your bunnies run around your home? Are they box trained?
    Evette Rice

  46. Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:51 am by Eric Graf | Permalink

    Best of luck with the new book!

  47. Posted February 28, 2013 at 10:17 am by cris | Permalink

    How exciting!! Congrats and wishing you great success on the new book venture–looks like a winner 🙂 ps Bunnies are never wrong!

  48. Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:33 am by Melody | Permalink

    Thanks! Yes, the bunnies are box trained – which is great. They’re outside on our (walled and shaded) patio during the day so they can move about, hop, stretch, and nap. We have them indoors during the evening. They get “free range bunny time” for a few hours, where they get to hop around and explore. The sleep in a very large cage/crate. They’re spoiled, and have us – their humans – well trained. :]

  49. Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm by Carol | Permalink

    Congratulations, Melody, your book cover is fabulous, as are the bookmarks, etc. I think the stories will be great fun to read and associate with the illustrations. Best of luck with the book.

  50. Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm by Karen McNamara | Permalink

    Congratulations, Melody.
    Also, I will have papers, stickers, etc. available for your classroom projects. We will need to work out how to get them to you.

  51. Posted March 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm by Tami Roth | Permalink

    CONGRATULATIONS, Melody! I love the cover of your book and would LOVE to win a special signed copy, crossing my fingers!!!