Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Year-end Giveaway

It’s never too early to do year-end stuff, isn’t it? For me, everything that happens in the month of December is eligible as ‘year-end’.

It's very easy to enter. Drop by at my facebook page .
Share or Like or Comment to win 1 (one) paperback of Annabelle of the Forest and 1 (one) paperback of bilingual Rainbow.

Since these two are children’s books, the winners will be chosen by my kids, Michael (11) and Nina (7). They will write the names of the participants on a piece of paper, roll the paper, put them in a jar, then pick two lucky winners!

Giveaway will open from now until December 5th, 2014. Thanks for participating!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Summary

My seven-year-old daughter made this for me using an app she found on my Android.
She calls her creation 'My Mommy's books'.

Best Christmas present EVAH!

What do you think? Like it?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A story of THANKS on Thanksgiving

When I decided to publish MY LEA, I've never thought I would need to publish it in different formats other than eBook.

Then one day, I stared at my bookshelf and couldn’t help imagining how great it would feel to have my own copy of MY LEA sitting on the shelf along with the rest of the books from my favorite authors. I decided to make the paperback—just one copy—for myself. Yes, I’m vain like that.
I know I could use Createspace, but I want something different. What can I say? I’m a crazy perfectionist when it comes to beautiful stuff. So I contacted this local printer who has a reputation for printing high-quality books. I told them I wanted to order only one copy, or two maximum.
Because they were polite, they didn’t slam the phone down when they heard my request, but gently told me that a minimum order of 100 must be met before anything can happen. And I went, “One-hundred? Are you freaking kidding me?”

Finally, after arguing (and a lot begging from my part), we agreed on a number that was waaay below their minimum order. I’m so proud of myself for winning this argument.

This story is going somewhere, I promise. I also promise that it has nothing to do with my vanity, my arguing capability, or my stupidity.

I’ve received my mock-up copy last night, and as I expected, the quality of the printing and the paper is flawless.

I put up some pictures of Melly-the-Vain holding MY LEA book before I went to bed. I woke up with more than thirty orders sitting around in my mailboxes and my sites.

HOLY WOW! I did not expect this. I was thinking yeah maybe five, but thirty-two? In one night? And that doesn't include the numbers from my mom yet. (Yes, my mother is the kind of mom who forces her friends to buy her daughter's books. Looks like I need to apologize to some of her friends later.)

If my printing guys were to read this, I’m sure they would punch me with “TOLDYA”, roll their eyes, and double the price for my next order. I have a strong feeling about the latter one.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to say thanks to each and every one of you. To my friends, my readers, and my family—especially to the ones who has bought MY LEA, eBook or paperback or BOTH (my gosh, you are all amazing)—thanks for supporting me. You have no idea HOW MUCH it means to me. Debut authors are like babies. They need a lot of helping hands to hold them up when they start  learning how to walk.
You’re all my precious helping hands and I’m very, very, very, so very grateful.
May God always bless YOU with great success and never-ending love and happiness! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone <3>

*MY LEA paperback will be available in mid-December 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Where does inspiration come from?

I got this question a lot. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. Even if I do, my process of getting there may differ from yours.

Nevertheless, I can tell you this. Always start with something that’s important to you. It doesn’t have to be grand or out-of-this-world proportions. You can get inspiration from the tiniest thing around you. And creation can take many forms. Since my medium is words, I’m creating stories through writing. My daughter’s medium is visual art, so she creates her stories through 3D diorama. My friend’s medium is music, so he creates his stories through songs. You get the idea.  

My son and I had this bedtime routine years ago when he was still a toddler, that each night we would create our own story out of nothing. The story must be original, directly from our heads and not from books or movies. We can be as creative as crazy, because well, it is my story and I can do pretty much anything I want to it. The other great thing is that I was able to get my son’s interest to create along, adding this and that to my totally-just-made-up story. Boy, did we have fun.

In order for me to hold my son’s attention long enough, I must talk about something that I know, something that I have passion for. I need to be convincing. I cannot change the world, but I can influence how my son thinks with my story. No, I’m not talking about the writing part yet. I haven’t even written anything at that time. Growing up as a minority and often subjected to race discrimination, this equality issue matters to me a lot. It still does now. I don’t want my next generation to have to go through this again. I want to teach my kid the meaning of equality—and by default, inequality. I wanted him to learn about harmony and balance. As the result, Rainbow, my first children book, was born that night many light-years ago. As with Big Eyes, my other children book, my emphasis is on similar theme. Being different doesn’t always mean bad.

In everything that I create, I always ask myself, what do I want to say? What’s important about it? And because I’m a parent, I can’t escape this “what kind of message I want to convey” habit. “There’s always going to be a message, isn’t it, Mom, a morale we need to figure out?” I’m quoting my kids here. They say it with sarcastic tones directly to my face.

Ha-ha! Adorable. Not.

Notice that when you talk about something that’s important to you, you’ll turn passionate, you’ll be honest, thus making your voice more genuine. Don’t worry about the technicality of your creation at this point. Don’t worry about lots of things at this point. Just look inside of you and get what you want to talk out in the open.

For me, that is inspiration.

 *Follow my blog for a weekly post about writing stuff that may—or may not—be useful to you J. If you think it’s useful, come back next Friday, okay?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MY LEA Release Day

My Lea, my debut novel is released worldwide TODAY! I’m officially an indie author and proud to be one. I imagine holding out a toast. “Here is to FIRST step.”

This is a monumental moment for me, both as a person as well as an author. As you might know, English is not my first language. It took me two hours to write this post; it took me three years to write a full-length novel in English. I’ve driven my editors and proofreaders mental (so sorry) coz they had to deal with more mistakes found in my script compared to the ones written by American, British, or Australian authors.

Putting my work out there in the unknown world is risky. And scary as hell. Some people might love it, some people might hate it. Some people might hate it with a passion!

Am I crazy? Absolutely. Believe me, up till last night, I still entertained the idea of cancelling the whole thing because THAT would be a lot easier to handle. But, again, everyone has to start somewhere and I need to finish what I started. Might as well be here and now :)

My biggest hope with the release of MY LEA is that I could inspire others—kids, young people, middle-aged people, aspiring authors, dreamers—to have faith in themselves. Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to fail. Focus on elements you can control (writing, producing, and having fun); forget the ones you cannot (worrying about what other people think).

Before we start, please spend a moment in reading this warning.

*MY LEA is a New Adult Contemporary. It’s not a children’s book, not a chicklit, and not a YA either. This book is NOT suitable for readers under 18 due to mature language and content. As two of the reviewers brilliantly put it in their review page:

“Don’t go into this expecting a normal romance, expect to read something a bit uncomfortable that you won’t easily forget.”

“… if you want something unforgettable and takes the word “angsty” into a different level, you don’t need to wait that long.”

So, here is the link to MY LEA in some of the sites. I do hope you guys will enjoy it and understand the underline message I tried to say in MY LEA. I’m using my sixth sense to persuade you to love it… not really… well… maybe I did (evil laughter). 
Appreciate if you’re willing to leave a review on the sales sites or Goodreads afterwards :)

Kobo (Worldwide distribution)

Inktera Page Foundry (Worldwide distribution)


Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia
Amazon Japan
Amazon India
Apple iBooks

Scribd (Worldwide distribution)

Follow me @themellyberry , or
Facebook page 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


After waiting for like three months—I know because I’ve been counting—the cover is finally revealed! Finally, my book has a 'face'.

I’m so glad that my old friend, a very talented illustrator, Evelyn agreed to help me out with the cover art. The cover represents everything that is in the story: the lemonade metaphor, the color (lemon yellow and sugar white), the guy’s face and the title are made out of the lemonade’s spill.

For those of you who have already added MY LEA to your goodreads TBR, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU GUYS TO THE MOON AND BACK!

See you all in mid November... 


My Lea by E. Mellyberry
(A Broken Love Story, #1)
Publication date: November 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult


A simple girl.

A broken guy.

One horrible incident.

When Lea Amelia landed her feet in San Francisco for her overseas study, her idea of freedom was simple, like eating junk food ten times a day, sitting in front of the TV in her PJs, or going out late with her friends without the need to check in with her mother constantly.

Then she met Andrew Jaya, her brothers’ best friend. A twenty-two-year-old guy whose physical appearance looked like he was crafted straight from God’s heavenly hands, but possessed a past as bleak as if it was drawn by Evil himself. A conflicted guy who wore sadness like nobody’s business beneath his mask, a perfect-looking mask she slowly peeled away.

He was also the guy who hurt her.

Suddenly, everything about her was no longer simple.

Andrew Jaya had convinced himself that not feeling was good for him. He’d been doing it splendidly for almost his entire life. But that was before his best friend’s sister stepped into his life and ruined it. After weeks of knowing Lea, all of those warm and wonderful feelings he’d long ago denied to himself started to reappear. Problem was, the brighter the light, the bigger the shadows that came with it.

His traumatic past refused to let him go.

When the unthinkable happened, the easiest thing to do was to run. But life often proves that the easiest way is usually the hardest.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bullying: A never-ending story

A bully (by my definition) is a cowardice person who thinks that the only way to make him/her feel superior is by dragging others down to their level.

Solution: Don’t get dragged down to their level, then. Be more.

The problem with my solution? Well, duh! It’s not easy.

Bullying happens everywhere, every time, to almost every one. Sadly, bullying happens the most at school. Kids and teenagers could be the meanest being alive.

Everyone who is literate knows the negative—sometimes lethal—effect of bullying on its victims. We’re aware that bullying is bad, no matter what the scale is. We know what we’re expected to do when we see or experience one. But—as usual with real life—knowing and experiencing are two different things.

When our kids fall victim to bullying, every wisdom and every common sense flew out of the window. Instead of being rational and calm, most the time our initial reaction would be to throw Thor’s hammer in the direction of that bully who’s hurt our children. If you say you don’t feel this way, then maybe you’re one of those robotic parents.

When our children were younger, the solutions were simpler. We could talk to the teachers, or the other parents, and most of the times the problem stopped. When kids get older, the act of bullying gets more complicated, and the involvement of an adult often seen as a weakness in the eyes of the kid. Beware of verbal bullying, because the bruises and the scars can’t be seen with our eyes and the effect usually takes a while to show its ugly face. Furthermore, we can’t possibly shelter our children 24/7 forever. On top of those, words like “ignore them” or “laugh it off” would no longer be sufficient to fight off a bully.
Even when you’re lucky to miss one bully now, there’ll be more of them out there, waiting in the shadows to meet you.

It’s complicated I say, and it is.

The only thing that we can—and always—tell our kids is that they need to find a way to stand up for themselves. How, when, what are not set in stone. Every kid will deal with this in their own way, in their own time.
The most important thing we, parents, need to constantly remind them are:
1. The definition of a bully, so they can spot one if they meet one.
2. Don’t let anyone dictate how you feel.
3. Stand up, stand up, stand up for yourself.

It’s not unusual that the kids misinterpret standing up as fighting. Standing up doesn’t mean talking with your fists, or sinking lower to their level by bullying other people or by being bitter. Standing up can be done with a simple “Stop It” or to yell a warning shout or to do a warning shove… anything.

Remember, a bully is a coward. Once he/she senses that their victim could bite, they instantly become their true-self—a coward.

So stand up.
Be firm.
Hold fierce eye-contact.
Make it matter. Make your voice matter.
Don’t ever cower.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MY LEA news

Hello, everyone.

Most of you have probably heard that my novel, MY LEA, will be released in November 2014. This whole thing is so exciting for me. Not only this would be my first full-length novel, this is also my first English book.

MY LEA is a Contemporary New Adult. It's the first book in the A Broken Love Story series. Word count is around 93K.
If you wish to know more about the book, please click the link below. It will take you to the goodreads page in no time.

Cover reveal is scheduled to take place on October 16th. Xpresso is the drive behind it. Feel free to sign up to join the fun :) Signing up is easy and free. You don't need to do anything beside signing up and posting. For those awesome people who's already signed up, YOU ARE INCREDIBLE, GUYS. AND I LOVE YOU!

The cover is designed by my friend, Evelyn Gozalli, a talented Indonesian illustrator. I love the cover like crazy, and I'm saying this not because it's my cover, but because it's really beautiful. Every element on that cover has meaning that's related to the story. You need to read the book to know... or you could just ask me :)

Here's the link for the cover reveal sign up.

I'll come back with more news about MY LEA and other writing/self publishing stories after the cover reveal. Make sure you don't miss any of these :)

Thank you, guys. Stay tune !
E. Mellyberry

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

COVER REVEAL! Say Hello to Glynna and Ashton!

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2014

ABOUT Cupcakes & Kisses:

One bite of her luscious cupcakes and you just might fall in love…

Nineteen-year-old Glynna Balcora’s super power is baking. A young witch, she’s lived her entire life tucked away in the quaint city of Spokane, WA with her domineering aunt and sweetheart of a grandmother. It’s not an ideal situation. Although Glynna loves her grandmother dearly, and treasures the special times they spend in their magical greenhouse, Glynna’s aunt keeps her niece on a tight leash using threats of vague enemies.

Since Glynna graduated from high school a few a months ago, her aunt’s be-home-before-dark curfew seems more ridiculous every day. It isn’t doing much for the young witch’s social life, either. With encouragement from her best friend, Glynna sneaks out one night to go to a bonfire party at the lake. There she has an unexpected encounter with Spokane’s most eligible bachelor, Ashton Bass. Glynna’s been crushing on Ashton since she was five years old. But when they share their first kiss, thunderstorms and lightning follow… and Glynna’s aunt realizes it’s time to tell the young witch the truth about who she really is.

Cupcakes & Kisses is the first book in a playful New Adult Romance trilogy…


“Hey, watch it.” A dark figure looms in front of me. With the bonfire behind him, his face is all shadows, but the voice sounds vaguely familiar.

“Oh, sorry,” I yelp. “I didn’t mean—”

“To give me a shower?” The guy offers an amused smile.

My throat catches. Ashton Bass is standing in front of me. I’m too embarrassed to meet his gaze, so my eyes travel south. He’s wearing a dark fitted t-shirt with three white buttons at the top. God. I can’t believe I’m counting the buttons on his shirt. Or that I gave him a beer shower.

I glance around for a stack of napkins, a roll of paper towels, anything to dry him off. I find nothing. Desperate, I try to wipe off the spray with my bare hands... Huh? I press with one finger. No give. None. When did Ashton get wash-board abs? I slide my finger down. One… two… three… eight?! Eight?! Not even Leif has an eight-pack, and he’s a brick wall. I freeze. I can’t believe it. I’m actually counting his abs. My gaze travels back up only to be trapped by Aston’s startling azure eyes—and his famous panty-dropping boyish grin.
“Oops!! So-sorrry,” I stammer, and take a step backwards. “Not sure what that was all about.” His eyes will not let go of mine as the warm feelings heating my insides build. In fact, they’ll betray me, shortly, if I don’t watch out.

“Oh, I don’t mind at all. Besides, you seemed to be enjoying yourself.” His white teeth shine in the moonlight as another blush-fest attacks by face. Thank god, it’s the middle of the night and not the middle of the day.

“You have to forgive my friend, Ashton. She doesn’t get out much. And, well, her encounters with the male chest have been severely limited.”

Kristeen’s intervention is no help at all, and I don’t miss the lingering look she gives Ashton’s well-toned chest. A bitter pinch grips my heart as I imagine strangling my BFF.

Oh. God. Of. Cupcakes! My emotions are totally out-of-control. “Kristeen!” I half-whisper, half-scream.

“No?” Ashton’s one-word question leaves his lopsided grin firmly in place.

This is becoming all shades of awkward. I squeeze my eyes shut. I’d give anything for a cupcake that could make me disappear after just one bite. Boy! That would be some recipe.

How I wish, wish, wish my magical abilities went beyond baking. Way beyond.

“No worries.”

I open one eye. Ashton’s grin has grown, if that’s possible. His perfect white teeth gleam in the firelight. I open my other eye. He brushes his hand over his forearms and shirt. “Just glad to see you out, Glynna.”

“You can thank me,” Kristeen says.

“Thank you, Krissy.”

“Please, everyone stopped calling me that in elementary school.”

Ashton digs around in one of the ice chests. “Sorry, didn’t mean to offend.” He hands me a wine cooler. “This might be more to your taste.”

“Thanks,” I mumble.

He grabs a couple more bottles of beer and gives each of us a half bow. “Enjoy the party, ladies.”

He walks away, backwards, smiling, firelight reflecting from those perfect chops. He must have his teeth whitened regularly because no one’s teeth are naturally that bright. When his left foot sinks into a low spot, his whole body dips, and he almost falls. Almost.

“Nice recovery,” Kristeen whispers.

I nod. Whenever Ashton Bass is within twenty yards of me, my tongue ties in knots and my heart races pell mell around my ribcage.

~ About the Authors ~ 
Heidi Garrett is the author of the Daughter of Light series, a fantasy about a young half-faerie, half-mortal searching for her place in the Whole. She's also the author of the contemporary fairy tale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

Heidi is collaborating with Billie Limpin to write The Magic Cupcake series, a special blend of magic, romance, and humor.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She now lives in Eastern Washington state with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle. Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow.

Billie Limpin lives in the Philippines where the sun always shines and people always smile!

A  hopeless romantic inside and out, when Billie’s not swooning over a book boyfriend (which she often does!), you’ll probably catch her daydreaming (over a fictional character!). A reader by heart, and now a writer for the first time, she’s thrilled to put her daydreams into written words.

~ Giveaway ~

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Side Effect of John Green

Many of you know how mad I fangirl TFIOS. (It's super mad. It's mad, mad, and mad). But I bet a few of you know why I adore John Green like mad. Is it because he’s a great author, close to being a superauthor? Well, yes. In writing TFIOS, he is a superauthor. But sadly, I don’t dig his other books.

There’s more to it to me than him being a superauthor. It‘s his other quality, the one that makes him a superman, the one that lands him in TIME 100, the one that earns him a worldwide reputation as the most lovable author, the rock god in literary world.
He connects with young people, teens, and adolescents. He inspires them, motivates them to do good, to do creative, to live fully to their talents. He unites them under nerdfighter and dftba and other stuff.

Yes, there are many great authors out there, even greater than one John Green, but did any of those move people, young people especially, as positively, as fiercely as John and Hank? I doubt it. This is what set him apart from the other celebrities. He’s doing this, with his own hands. Not just talking or hiring somebody to do it for him. He does it himself.

Just like what Shailene wrote in his Time 100 dedication.
“But he doesn’t just listen to young adults. He treats every human he meets as their own planet, rather than simply one of his moons. He sees people with curiosity, compassion, grace and excitement.”

If you think this quality is nonworthy, just think for minute. You think influencing and motivating and talking to teens are easy? That understanding them is piece of cake? I can’t even manage one teen who lives under the same roof as me, let alone millions of them worldwide. Regardless of other quality or misquality that John Green might possess, we must admit that he’s a good influence to young people. And in the midst of uncertainties and other negativity in the world we live in, some good no matter how small, is still good.
And that’s why I adore John Green.
This, my friends, is the force of John Green. TFIOS is just the side effect of John Green.

My husband wonders if my obsession with John Green would ever die down. I don’t know. Guess we need to find out.

Happy TFIOS day, everyone!

June 6, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big, High, and Almighty

My six year old daughter told me yesterday, "I want to change my last name."

Me (rolled eyes dramatically): Yeah? To what?

Daughter : Obama. My name would be Nina Obama.

Me (laughed, and then stayed speechless)

Moral of the conversation :
"If you have a dream, aim it high, big, and almighty. Don't settle for a second best."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Here's the Thing

Here’s the thing.

This is a lovely box. My friends used this box to put my birthday present inside. I remembered that the gift was lovely, just as lovely as the box. That’s why I keep them both all these years.

Last night, my six year old daughter pulled the box out from under piles of boxes in our storage and brought it to me and asked if she could use it for her art. My daughter is known for her growing talent in transforming junks into creative, beautiful arts, and last night, holding the box in her tiny hands, looking at me with creative fire in her eyes, she told me she wanted to use that box to make some Lion King’s masks. It means she would cut the box, splash paints and God knows what all over it, shred some of it, all in the name of making her art.

I said no. When she whined, I snapped, “Don’t ruin the box. If you want to make something, find yourself some other ugly junks.”

Translation : My box is prettier than your upcoming art.

I think I broke her heart a little last night.

I found her a nice shoebox after that and she quietly retreated back into her room and created her arts. She cut, she tore, she painted, she glued, and she created. She’s done it all with a slight gloom on her face, and I know why. She thinks I thought her arts were junks.

Don’t do what I did.

Here’s the thing.
It’s just a goddamn box in a storage full of junks.
Next to it is my kid’s creative heart.

I should have known which one was more important.