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Chandra's Blog


Entries in "Unintended" (1)


Writers on Wednesday--Melissa McNallan 

This week I have the opportunity to share a new author and the captivating summary of her first novel. Be sure to click the link at the bottom for more--the first chapter is on her website. Enjoy! 

A debut novel, written by Melissa McNallan.

When home isn’t really one and away leads Indy astray, finding someone to hold onto might be the only way.

     No one meant to give Indy a bad roll. Her Mom didn't mean to die in a car accident when Indy was just nine. Her Dad hadn't meant to neglect putting chains on the wheels of her Mom's car, though the facts concerning his neglect are up in the air on that. When her parents named her, they thought it was a fine name, really, original and all - Independence Angel Munson.
     At nine, Indy prayed for rhinestones and lots of them, including a tiara so she can shine as bright as Daddy says her Mom does. Aunt Marge had always cautioned Indy and anyone else forced to listen about choosing prayers with care.

Saving was what Indy needed. The stillness of living in Harmony, Montana didn’t offer it, not ever. The brand of saving found in a good God-fearing church was too frightening to seek. At thirteen, she already knew her whole family (except her Mom) was pretty much damned, besides the next life wasn’t on her radar. She needed to be pulled from the rut she fell into the morning she stumbled over the tire trucks Daddy left behind when he left her in the care of her Grandmother.

When her Daddy returns home with his girlfriend Lydia, who wears rhinestones and has the whitest teeth Indy’s ever seen, Indy dares to hope. When they tell her she’s going on the road with them, Indy’s sure her luck’s going to change.

The first clue that Indy’s luck wasn’t exactly headed for the better should’ve come before she’d even crossed the state line into Idaho. Daddy started serenading Lydia with Conway Twitty’s “Tight Fitting Jeans.” In all fairness, it did come on the radio and he was just singing along and giving Lydia loving looks. The song’s about a lady who is too uppity to have ever been inside a bar before, but then she goes in one and meets a cowboy who knows her for what she is. He takes her back to his place and screws her.

The next clue might’ve hit when Lydia explained the rules with the “Do Not Disturb” sign, “I’m going to hang this on the doorknob so your Daddy and me can have some grown up time. No knocking when it’s on the knob.” It was hours before the sign was taken off. Daddy’s bar fights, Lydia reminiscing about her old life in Vegas as a stripper, the greedy eyes of men as they sat along the bar made Indy apprehensive, but the only way out was a phone call to Aunt Marge. Things weren’t bad enough for that.

It’s in Bradenton, Florida, her favorite town, that Indy finds trouble, the kind that can’t be ignored. While there, she also finds Billy. He likes Kerouac and is philosophical about life. Indy doesn’t understand a lot of what he says, but that doesn’t concern her. She’s living the life Billy’s only been able to read about. She fascinates him. They might be the answer for each other....


To read the first chapter of Un(in)tended, the novel where things were never meant to go wrong but usually do except sometimes, visit


 Melissa McNallan is a  2010 Prose Minnesota State Arts Board Grant Recipient. She has served on the Editorial Board of The YellowJacket Review. Her work has been published in The Storyteller, Empowered Magazine, Armchair Book Reviews, Rochester Women, The Plainview News and The YellowJacket Review. She lives with her husband Mitch, daughter Elizabeth and their dog Buddy in Southeastern Minnesota.