Melissa Lenhardt

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Melissa Lenhardt

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Member Since
February 2009


Melissa Lenhardt is the author the Jack McBride mystery series, as well as the Laura Elliston historical fiction series. Her debut mystery, STILLWATER, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and SAWBONES, her historical fiction debut, was hailed as a "thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new subgenre: the feminist Western" by Lone Star Literary Life. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two sons.

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Melissa Lenhardt Be patient. The publishing industry moves slower than cold molasses. It's like living in the DMV waiting room. Only worse.

Be persistent. Don't give up…more
Be patient. The publishing industry moves slower than cold molasses. It's like living in the DMV waiting room. Only worse.

Be persistent. Don't give up after five agents reject your MS. Or ten agents. Or twenty agents. Your rejections won't stop when you get an agent. Then, editors start to reject your MS. Then, readers will reject your book. Rejection is the norm throughout the process. If you take rejection personally, you're in the wrong business. Self-publishing might be the best thing for you, but there are pitfalls and drawbacks to that avenue as well.

Learn to take constructive criticism. Was there a common thread in all those rejections? Characters not connecting. Dialogue stilted. Needs editing. If one agent says something, eh. Take it or leave it. (Though I will say that I had one agent give feedback on my Historical Fiction which no one else did that was absolutely spot on. I took her suggestion and the new first chapter won a contest.) If two say it, you should consider it. If three or more say it, your MS has a problem and you need to set your ego on the shelf and fix it.

Be professional. If your MS is rejected, don't send an angry email to the agent. Publishing is a small industry and word will get around about your lack of professionalism.

Join a writer's group. Make sure it isn't a group whose sole purpose is to compliment and stroke each other's egos. If they don't give constructive criticism, find another. If there aren't any in your area, join an online group through a genre organization such as RWA, WFWA, or Sisters in Crime. But, you have to be willing to return the favor. Honestly, learning to critique other people's work will make you a better writer.

Melissa Lenhardt Not having to work in an office from 8-5.
Average rating: 3.74 · 756 ratings · 185 reviews · 8 distinct works · Similar authors
Stillwater (Jack McBride, #1)

3.64 avg rating — 489 ratings — published 2015 — 6 editions
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Sawbones (Laura Elliston, #1)

3.78 avg rating — 289 ratings — published 2016 — 8 editions
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The Fisher King (Jack McBri...

3.87 avg rating — 86 ratings — published 2016 — 3 editions
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Blood Oath (Laura Elliston #2)

4.31 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 2017 — 8 editions
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Badlands (Laura Elliston #3)

4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — expected publication 2017 — 3 editions
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New Melissa Lenhardt Novel

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings2 editions
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Heater Vol. 02 No. 06

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Christmas Nookies (Hot Holi...

4.36 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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More books by Melissa Lenhardt…

I'm thrilled to announce I'm going to be at the Lubbock Book Festival on October 28, 2017! I graduated from Texas Tech and loved my time in Lubbock. I can't wait to see old friends, and make new ones! There are going to be a lot of wonderful authors there. Come see us!

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Published on May 12, 2017 08:44 • 3 views
Stillwater The Fisher King
(2 books)
3.67 avg rating — 574 ratings

Sawbones Blood Oath Badlands
(3 books)
3.82 avg rating — 306 ratings

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A Murder of Crows
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by Terrence P. McCauley (Goodreads Author)
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A Perilous Undert...
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Invisible Man
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Melissa’s Recent Updates

Blood Oath by Melissa Lenhardt
"Thanks Orbit Books and netgalley for this ARC.

The pain that Laura goes thru will sting your heart. This series feels so real, honest, and tough like jerky. I love it!
Badlands by Melissa Lenhardt
"I really enjoyed the book. But I do need to read the first two. "
Badlands by Melissa Lenhardt
"*Source* Publisher via NetGalley
*Genre* Historical Fiction, Romance
*Rating* 3.5-4

*Full Review Pending*

Pretty awesome way to end this trilogy. Loved the entire series, especially Catherine who was sent scurrying off into the wild west where she bec..." Read more of this review »
Melissa Lenhardt is currently reading
A Murder of Crows by Terrence P. McCauley
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Sawbones by Melissa Lenhardt
"Melissa Lenhardt and Catherine Bennett both plant their flags in old west with shocking results. A fast-paced, believable (if not brutal) piece of historical fiction, SAWBONES will knock you out of your comfort zone but leave you wanting more. Whi..." Read more of this review »
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Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris
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The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe
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The Dime by Kathleen Kent
The Dime
by Kathleen Kent (Goodreads Author)
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The Dangerous Ladies Affair by Marcia Muller
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Stephen King
“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King

David Foster Wallace
“I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Katharine Hepburn
“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.”
Katharine Hepburn

Walt Whitman
“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.”
Walt Whitman

Herman Melville
“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale

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message 1: by Moira

Moira Russell 'I adore Jane Eyre but think The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is better and have just a smidgen of resentment against Charlotte for repressing Anne's work'

MAGIC WORDS, my (new) friend. Oh yes. (I adore Charlotte too, but she didn't understand her sisters v well some of the time - as sisters do.)

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