Welcome to another edition of Author Spotlight. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Melisa Ruscsak.
Born In 1982, a native to Lorain Ohio, Melisa grew up living with her grandparents Frances and James Lasure. She attended Clearview High School as well as Lorain County J.V.S. While in J.V.S, she attended the Culinary Arts program, graduating in 2001.
In 2011 near tragedy struck as Melisa’s health began to decline. By summer of 2011, she would need to use a cane to get around. Suffering a stroke, she required a craniotomy where she suffered her second stroke, leaving her with a partial impairment of her speech and weakness on her right side. After surgery, she would need to learn not only to walk again, but speak as well as recognize the alphabet.
In 2003 she welcomed the addition of her daughter Chyenne, who inspired her to start to put her dreams to paper. A story she wrote after her daughter’s birth, although not published, became the stepping stone to everything else she would eventually write.
Two years later in the fall of 2012, after a divorce, she would meet the man who would push her not only to fight to regain her physical strength but to put her creative mind to work. No longer allowing her to dwell on what she could no longer do but what she could.
In December of 2013 they would marry. With determination, Melisa would walk down the aisle without the need of a cane.
A year later, she would begin to write Of Lite and Darke, dreaming to see this work through to publishing, even if she would need to publish it herself.
In 2016, she would see her dream come true. With her daughter as her editor, Of Lite and Darke was born.
The First Book in the Series is The New Reign
With the seer’s stone resting on the table before him Karnack sat his quill back into the inkwell. For more than three thousand years he had been doing in death what he had done in life… watching history unfold and keeping a detailed account for his queen.
A queen who even he had not seen since the time of the great war.
Still, he watched and waited for the child to be born that his queen had seen so many years before. A child who would be born a creator. A queen who would be able to defeat a threat that was still in the shadows of the great stars.
The rest of the first Fey, who had settled this land, had already given up on ever finding the child. Nicco had changed his name two or three times in the past three centuries. As had Ean.
Of the three of them, none had ever been able to find out what had ever happened to their queen’s only child. A baby known only as Ari. His father had been the cause of their queen’s withdrawal from the realms.
Yet, he held out hope that one day he would find this chosen queen and give her the crown of the dead. A crown that would give her the power to stand and face a threat that only she would be able to defeat.
“Karnack? Are you still watching the stone?”
He barely glanced over his shoulder to a woman who was just as beautiful today as she was the first he had laid eyes on her. “I am the scribe to the queen and I will be the one to see the chosen queen long before any other.”
Pulling a knife from her belt, she leaned on the wall watching him write some mindless dribble that none would ever read. “When you find her, tell me. I’ll make sure no harm ever comes her way.”
“Freya, darling if what I know for fact ever comes to pass then even you will need help in protecting her.”
A soft smile touched her lips, “You let me worry about that.”
The Second Book is The Fallen
You know what has come to be but do you know where it began?
Before Nisha. Before Adrianna. Before the countries even had names, there were the Star Cities. Ruled each in their own way… all answering to one.
Primitiva was born the second daughter of the royal house of Lunaista. She was born for greatness. Born to be the first as her name suggested. If she stayed on her safe little star she would either die without ever knowing her true potential or be forced into marriage. Neither appealed to her.
A vision told her the truth. Death would come for her if she stayed. Leaving her only child under the cover of darkness she did the unthinkable and dove into the abyss. Somewhere out here was her destiny. Somewhere she would find a way to help her sister survive.
Somehow the child that she saw in her vision would be born. That child would one-day rule Both Pallas and unify the Star Cities. She just had to make sure the bloodlines for that that birth would come forth. Even if it meant turning her back on all that, she had ever known.
Here’s an excerpt:
3,000 years before the Great War.
“Those who have the power to create are an abomination that needs to be wiped out before they come into power. They will be the undoing of the Fey.”
-Royal doctrine for the ruler of Pallas
Chapter 1: Primitiva
Frustrated beyond all reasoning, she picked up her crystal brush and plopped down at her vanity. As her brush passed through her fiery red hair she counted. “One. Two.” Gritting her teeth, she pulled the brush through her hair as she slowly hissed, “Three.” Taking a deep breath, she opened her dark soulless eyes. Her parents were talking about her… again. Debating if they should make her a tribute to the city of stars or marry her off to one of the other royal star families. Slamming her crystal hairbrush down on her vanity, she shattered both. Upset and pissed off she pushed away from her now destroyed vanity no longer caring if her hair was perfectly smooth or a fiery mess. No longer cared enough to shed the tears that she had so many times before
She no longer cared about much of anything.
Holding the tears back she held in all of her strong emotions. Her hurt. “If you’re going to kill your children why ever have more than one?” She growled to herself. Her parents were not only not in the room but were deep within the depth of the palace. But not deep enough where she could not hear them when she so chose. See them whenever she pleased. There was nowhere in all the Star Cities that she couldn’t reach… couldn’t see.
Not that any ever believed her. Not that any dared to.
Another breath, then she turned to her door. Not much of a door when you could see through it… you could see through everything except a single room in the palace. And that room was off limits to everyone except the queen herself. Frustrated, she turned away from her door. Nothing was private on this miserable star. Nothing.
“Don’t even think about knocking, dear sister.” She snapped, letting her thundering voice rattle the shards of crystal that now lay on her floor.
As the glass door opened, her sister smiled even though her sister turned from her, “Primitiva? You are more agitated than usual. Why?”
Damn her sister. The Crown Princess Starlis. Glaring at her sister, she dared not say what was on her lips. Instead took in her sister’s rare beauty. Golden rays tumbled down her back, shimmering in the light of the room. Silver speckles dancing on her skin. But it was her eyes, the eyes of the galaxy that saw everything. “I will not marry a man who wishes only to have my power for his own.”
“Ah. So, our parents are at it again? Trying to keep you from the tribute and yet you refuse.”
As she turned her fire red hair wrapped around her revealing her wings. Wings that she was warned several times to never let be seen. “The only reason I am still here is because of Avyanna.”
Starlis rushed over to her nearly placing her hand over Primitiva’s mouth. Whispering, she said, “Shhhh. You know better than to speak her name.”
Pushing her sister away and nearly allowing her to tumble, Primitiva hissed, “She is my daughter and I will speak her name whenever it pleases me.”
Regaining her balance and closing the distance between them Starlis whispered, “You will get her killed. Now hush. I cannot protect her if you do not protect yourself.”
Her sister was right, but only partly so. “You’re right. I cannot protect her while I am still in Lunaista.” Then she turned sharply. She needed only, but a moment to decide what to do next. Only a moment to figure out how to bring about the change that the Star Cities needed.
A sigh of relief, then, “Finally, you are seeing reason.”
Another moment to decide, “Which is why I am leaving.”
Closing her eyes Starlis tried again to reason with her impulsive younger sister yet again, “You cannot just leave. There is nowhere in the Star Cities that you could go and not be found. Not that you could get to any other Star City.” She let her eyes slowly open as she took a deep breath and tried to remind her sister, “Only messengers can go between the Star Cities and they have special training and abilities to do so.”
As the second child, her powers… her abilities had been left untrained… even so, there was no one more powerful… no one… not even her dear sister. And certainly not that fool Azia who ruled Pallas. Slowly the room filled in a black mist. Not uncommon since she did this whenever she wished for privacy. Not that their parents allowed her, but then again, even they were powerless to stop her. Even Azia lacked the power required to stop her.
Turning back to her sister, she made sure she didn’t turn away from her gaze… made sure her sister’s eyes met hers. Seeing the fear in Starlis’ face, she smiled a cruel and bitter smile. Hooking invisible hooks into her sister’s mind, she spoke, do not worry dear sister you will not remember much of this I do promise.
What are you doing? How? This… this is…
Forbidden? Yes, I know. But then again, I have never been one for rules. Now hush and you will know what it is you must do.
I… The hooks drove deeper intertwining with the very fabric of Starlis’ mind. Defeated, her body sagged. What must I do?
When asked, you will tell our parents I tried to flee and was swept away in the Void. I in a sense died just as those who were foolish enough to try have done since the beginning of time.
Starlis was mortified of what her sister was proposing. Your powers will never feed the Star City. Our family will have no tribute.
Actually, it will have two. Since our parents are so keen on the idea of keeping the tradition, they can offer themselves. Mother’s power will pass to you as queen… but father’s? Well, he can feed the catacombs of Pallas.
I suppose. I doubt the Azia will check to see who has been offered as tribute.
Primitiva smiled, I know he will not. Now, my daughter. You will raise her as your own. She will be your child.
Your only child. Your powers are weak compared to hers and she is only but days old. None outside our parents know I gave birth. And none will think twice about you having a child with no interest in love.
Because my sister can create life out of nothing. Yes, that is plausible.
So glad you agree since you won’t remember much in a few minutes. Now… She stepped back and called in a single tribute box. Silver but the inlays were not that of melting magma, but of shimmering crystal. This will be passed down in our bloodlines for three generations. That is three thousand years where I am going. This box will only open to the first male child born who is the first-born. From now on… for the next three generations, the father of the child will be the tribute. No excuses. This instruction will be passed down to the children of the crown.
Calling the mist back to her, she smiled, “No sister, you do not. You do not have the gift of foresight. But that is ok for I do.” Wrapping her arms around her sister, she gave her one last hug. “Close your eyes, my dear and I will be gone by the time you open them.”
Coming Soon: Secrets, Lies and Betrayal