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By Basil Sands

‘Relentless tension and nail-biting suspense that’s sure to put your manicure in danger.’

That’s a paraphrase of comments from major reviewers and I have to say, they’ve got it right.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you Melinda Leigh: wife, mother, and martial arts black belt. She is also a bestselling writer of romantic suspense that even dudes can get psyched about.

Melinda, tell us about your latest book MIDNIGHT SACRIFICE.

MIDNIGHT SACRIFICE is the second book in my Midnight series, dark romantic suspense novels based on ritualistic murders that occur in a rural town in Maine. This series was born out of my love for the mysteries in history.  I was watching a documentary on Stonehenge in which archeologists were exploring possible human sacrifices at the site. Exciting stuff, right?  My brain started humming with those “what if…” scenarios.

What motivated you to start writing? 

It was actually my husband’s idea. I used to read three to four books a week, but between working and raising small children, I’d never had the time to even consider writing.  When my children went to school full-time, I started writing as a hobby. I needed to do something with my brain besides identify mystery stains on the carpet. With a business education and a banking background, I knew none of the technical aspects of constructing a novel. My first attempt at writing a book took two years, but I was hooked. Making writing a career became a matter of learning the mechanics and the industry (and a little luck).

Your books have been classified as Romantic Suspense, is that how you see them?

I like to mix things up.  My books are a thriller/romance/mystery hybrid.  Some readers say they’re more thriller than romance; others feel the opposite.  I’ve had readers call them murder mysteries.  I love all of those genres and don’t feel the need to restrict myself to writing in just one.

How does your martial arts experience inform your writing?

Fight scenes are guaranteed to be interesting. I’ve sparred and grappled.  So I know what it feels like to take a blow to the stomach (not good) or to be locked in a choke-hold (even worse). I often use actual techniques I’ve learned in karate or through teaching women’s self-defense in my books. If there isn’t a technique handy to get my character out of a mess, I’ll work through the mechanics on the mat.

If you could choose to live in any period of history other than today what period would you choose and why?

This is going to sound corny, but I’m perfectly happy right here, right now. It’s taken me many years of hard work to get to this exact moment. I have a wonderful family and a career I’d never dreamed of ten years ago. (Unless I could travel with Doctor Who, of course. Who could turn that down?)


Be sure to check out Melinda’s new book, MIDNIGHT SACRIFICE, hitting the shelves in April 2013.


Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker and bestselling author of romantic thrillers. SHE CAN RUN, her debut book released in November 2011, was nominated for Best First Novel at the 2012 International Thriller Awards. Melinda holds a 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband and two teenagers, along with some rescue dogs and cats. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination. Her 4th novel, MIDNIGHT SACRIFICE, releases in April 2013.

To learn more about Melinda, please visit her website.

Basil Sands
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