Spotlight & Giveaway: The Descendant by Melissa Riddell

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the descendant


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melissa Riddell will giveaway to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter a $10 Amazon/BN GC, a signed copy of The Descendant (book 1), or an ARC of the second book in the series. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Genre:   Sci-Fy Romance


She wants her world back; he wants her heart.

Tilly Morgan and her four-legged companion, Kodiak, are just trying to survive the alien arrival. Two years ago, the visitors unleashed devastation—a world-wide EMP followed by a deadly virus that wiped out more than half of humanity.

Traversing the lonely landscape, she runs into an alien on patrol with one order: eradicate all human life. A mysterious, dark-haired stranger named Jareth comes to her aid, and she reluctantly allows him to join her quest to find her sister. He even persuades her to let the damaged alien tag along against her better judgment.

As her group travels the desolate world and inches closer to her goal, she’s forced to examine her unwanted feelings for Jareth and come to terms with her heart, even if the truth threatens to destroy her and everything she’s come to believe.


Interview with Author Melissa Riddell

Do you have a favorite scene? If so, what was it?

Yes! My favorite scene in The Descendant is in chapter four, right after Tilly meets Jareth, when they arrive at the cave and she first sees the “door” he crafted. Later, Kodiak tests the quality of his craftsmanship and it’s hilarious. For weeks, I couldn’t read those scenes out loud without laughing like a hyena. My husband thought I’d lost my mind—especially since I’m the one who created it. He just doesn’t understand how I can laugh at my own creation.


Any challenges in writing this book?

It was the first full-length manuscript I’d ever written, so yeah, there were many challenges. My editor had to teach me show versus tell, passive versus active voice, and word order, such as how to properly use before, then, as, etc. By the time we polished that thing, I felt like I’d absorbed ten years’ worth of writing knowledge. Whew.


How would you describe a perfect hero?

A perfect hero is boring. Who wants to read about someone without imperfections? Not me, that’s for sure. I enjoy creating characters who struggle with their flaws and eventually learn to either cope or overcome those traits. To me, that’s a true hero.


What do you love most about writing?

I love the escape. When I’m writing, I’m all in, and it’s hard for me to draw the line between my imaginary place and the world I live in. I think it’s why I write so quickly—because I know I can’t function as well as I’d like until I finish the story and get out of the characters’ headspaces and worlds.


How do you go about choosing the names for your characters?

I generally let the names come to me. Sometimes, I’ll use a placeholder until something feels right. In The Descendant, though, I chose Jareth’s name as an homage to David Bowie’s Goblin King character in Labyrinth. It was my favorite movie growing up, and probably still is. For Tilly, her name just popped in my head. Kodiak, her dog, came from my daughter’s dog—a puppy with the same name who was a full-blooded Siberian Husky.


What other books have you written?

I’ve written The Betrayer and The Redeemer, which are the 2nd and 3rd books of the Baltin Trilogy which starts with The Descendant.

I just sent Ravenlight (releasing in October) to the editor. It’s a shifter novella and the first in a planned series where each can stand alone, but every book will focus on a new member of the Ravenlight tribe.

Sacha Shepperd Ninnette and the Dark Night is a steamy fairytale retelling under my other pen name of Mina Raye.

Currently, I’m writing Tilly’s prequel and hope to have it finished soon.


Do you have a favorite book (out of the ones you’ve written)?

Hmm, The Descendant will always have a special place in my heart because it was my debut novel, but as for the one which was the most fun, I’d have to say Sacha Shepperd Ninnette was a hoot. It’s the first of DLG Publishing Partners’ TWISTED series, which has authors twist a fairytale with a modern-day spin.


Print or e-books–do you have a preference?

I love print books because they’re what I grew up with. Being able to hold them in my hands, smell their musty pages, and never need a charger is perfect. Electronic books are a great back-up, but they’ll never replace my old-fashioned tomes.


Book Excerpt

the descendantHis eyes crinkle. “Hmm.” He lets go of my shoulders and continues cleaning the cut, then blows on it to speed up the drying process.


The way his lips open and the feel of warm air—his exhalation—on my skin causes me to clamp my teeth together. His breath smells like cinnamon, and that full bottom lip looks way too enticing.


I hide a shiver. “Would you stop that?”


“Stop what?”


Unable to bring myself to say blowing on me, I flap a hand near his mouth. “That.”


He frowns for a moment, then tips his head back. “Oh, you mean this?” He leans forward, keeping his eyes locked to mine, and pushes air through his lips, as if daring me to say something.


“Yeah. That.” My voice sounds uneven.


His words are pure silk. “Why? Does it turn you on?”


“What?” I push at his chest, but he’s about as movable as Mount Rushmore. “God, no. Your breath smells like you’ve been eating dog food, and it makes me want to hurl.”


Dropping his hands, he pulls back with a frown, and looks like he wants to exhale into a palm and sniff.


I stifle a giggle. Yeah, I’m a butt, but the comment knocks him off his sexy game and gives me a chance to collect my wits.


Author Bio and Links


author Melissa RiddellMelissa Riddell is from a small, West Texas town in which she still lives with her husband. Her writing career started as a hobby when she was a teenager, writing poems and short stories. Eventually, she branched out and began constructing novels. When not contemplating new story ideas, she can be found traipsing around Texas State Parks, herding her cats, or reading a book.


You can follow her on several different social media platforms below:




Amazon buy link:

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.


Melissa Riddell will giveaway to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter a $10 Amazon/BN GC, a signed copy of The Descendant (book 1), or an ARC of the second book in the series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Goddess Fish Promotions
    August 17, 2020 at 4:51 am

    Thanks for hosting!

  • Melissa Riddell
    August 17, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Thanks for hosting this stop! If anyone has any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. 🙂

    • Deborah Bailey
      August 17, 2020 at 10:28 pm

      You’re welcome! Good luck with the tour!

  • Gwendolyn L Jordan
    August 17, 2020 at 9:12 am

    I like the cover

    • Melissa Riddell
      August 17, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Thank you—I love the cover, too! The artist did a great job creating it.

  • DLG Publishing Partners
    August 17, 2020 at 10:06 am

    thanks for hosting Melissa Riddell. 🙂

  • Rita Wray
    August 17, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    The book sounds great.

  • James Robert
    August 17, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I appreciate getting to hear about a new book. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. 

    • Melissa Riddell
      August 17, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much for following, James!

  • Jessica Iskey
    August 18, 2020 at 1:38 am

    What a magnificent cover!!! It’s gorgeous!! I have this on both my TBR Amazon Wish List. I can’t wait to read it.
    I already love this author, even though I’ve never read her, because she loves Labyrinth!! Best Movie Ever!!

    Thank you so very much for the super generous giveaway!!!❤❤

    • Melissa Riddell
      August 22, 2020 at 9:24 pm

      Awwww! Thank you, Jessica. Yes, the designer really outdid herself when she created the book cover. If anyone’s curious as to who created it, look up Wren Taylor Cover Designs.

      And yes, I love Labyrinth so much. It’s so nice to meet someone else who also thinks the same thing. I remember one Halloween, probably 1988 or so, I was young, but I picked out a vest that looked like Sarah’s just so I could pretend I was her. Hahaha. Man, it’ll always be a special movie. And I’m telling ya–I’d have stayed with Jareth hahahahaha!