(Marliss Melton Arruda, Marliss Burgazli, Marliss Moon)
PERSONAL: Daughter of a U.S. foreign officer; married; children: two sons, one daughter, three stepchildren. Education: College of William and Mary, graduated, 1988; Old Dominion University. M.A., 1999. Hobbies and other interests: Physical fitness (aerobics and body sculpting) and soprano soloist.
CAREER: Deep Creek Junior High School, Chesapeake, VA, English teacher, 1988–89; Moorestown High School, Moorestown, NJ, English and Spanish teacher, 1989–92; James Blair Middle School and Lafayette High School, Williamsburg, VA, Spanish teacher, 1992–93; York High School, Yorktown, VA, Spanish teacher, 1993–98; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, English as a second language (ESL) teacher, 2000; Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, ESL teacher, 2000; College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, faculty member, 2000–05.
(As Marliss Melton Arruda) Soft's Blessing, PublishAmerica (Frederick, MD), 2002.
(As Marliss Moon) Danger's Promise, Jove Books (New York, NY), 2002.
(As Marliss Moon) By Starlight (sequel to Danger's Promise), Berkley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2003.
"SEAL TEAM TWELVE" SERIES
Forget Me Not, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2004.
In the Dark, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2005.
Time to Run, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2006.
WORK IN PROGRESS: At least two more "SEAL Team Twelve" books.
SIDELIGHTS: Marliss Melton, who also has written under the names of Marliss Moon and Marliss Melton Arruda, is a romance writer who wrote her first novel, albeit unpublished, at the age of thirteen. In an interview on the College of William and Mary student newspaper Web site, Flat Hat, the author explained her style of romance writing this way: "While my stories may seem different on the surface, there are elements that remain consistent in all of them. I want my hero to understand that my heroine is essential to his well being. I want him to treat her with the reverence and respect she deserves, while desiring her with toe-curling intensity. Inevitably, my hero needs to realize that his life is meaningless without the woman he loves."
In By Starlight the author presents an historical romance featuring Merry Duboise, who is saved from being burned at the stake as a witch by Captain Luke le Noir. As the two flee, pursued by the all-powerful Church, love ensues in this tale of the Middle Ages, which is a sequel to the author's Danger's Promise. Noting that some readers may not like the novel's "grittier moments," Booklist contributor Nina C. Davis nevertheless added that "others are in for a real treat."
Melton departs from the historical romance genre to focus on contemporary romances with thrilling plots in Forget Me Not, the first book in her "SEAL Team Twelve" series. The first installment revolves around Helen Renault whose Navy SEAL husband returns home after having gone missing a year earlier while on a mission. Helen had begun to adjust to her new life and is not exactly looking forward to living with her husband again since their marriage had begun to fall apart before he left. However, when Gabe returns, Helen finds that much about him has changed and their love affair begins anew. The only problem is that someone is out to kill Gabe to keep him quiet about what happened on his mission. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "realistic emotions make this a satisfying read." Lynne Welch, writing in Booklist, called the book a "compellingly eventful romance with realistic emotions and relationships."
In the sequel to Forget Me Not, In the Dark Gabe is in the Navy's custody for criminal acts. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Luther Lindstrom aids the Navy Criminal Investigation Services in order to clear Gabe and track down the rogue Commander Edwart Lovitt. Defense Intelligence Agent (DIA) Hannah Geary may be able to help, but she has gone missing. When Luther goes to rescue Hannah from a Cuban prison, the two soon find that they are falling in love. Meanwhile, Hannah is targeted by killers who do not want her to prove Gabe's innocence and Edward's guilt. Writing on the BookLoons Web site, Martina Bexte called In the Dark "a fine addition to her [Melton's] action-packed series." Best Reviews Web site contributor Harriet Klausner remarked, "This action-packed sequel … will keep the audience on the edge of their seats."
Time to Run, which continues the "SEAL Team Twelve" trilogy, finds Chase McCaffrey, who is a trained sniper in the Navy SEALS, using his expertise to help Sara and her son escape from her abusive husband, Garret. Hiding them on his inherited Oklahoma ranch, Chase soon finds that he must also worry about the local skinheads as well as Garret, who seeks revenge on his runaway family. Further complicating Chase's life is the fact that he is falling in love with Sara, who is also aided by Agent Hannah Geary from In the Dark. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that the author "doesn't miss a beat in this involving story." Harriet Klausner, writing on the Best Reviews Web site, called the novel "an exciting tale starring a fine lead couple and her likable son."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2003, Nina C. Davis, review of By Starlight, p. 1875; October 1, 2004, Lynne Welch, review of Forget Me Not, p. 315; February 1, 2006, Lynne Welch, review of Time to Run, p. 36.
Publishers Weekly, November 8, 2004, review of Forget Me Not, p. 41; December 5, 2005, review of Time to Run, p. 37.
Best Reviews, http://thebestreviews.com/ (April 23, 2006), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Time to Run and In the Dark; Morgan Chilson, review of Forget Me Not.
BookLoons, http://www.bookloons.com/ (April 23, 2006), Martina Bexte, reviews of Forget Me Not and In the Dark.
BookPage, http://www.bookpage.com/ (April 23, 2006), review of In the Dark.
Flat Hat, http://flathat.wm.edu/ (November 22, 2002), "Turn on the Romance: College English Professor Moonlights As Steamy Novelist."
Marliss Melton Home Page, http://www.marlissmelton.com (April 23, 2006).
Once upon a Romance Review, http://www.onceuponaromance.net/ (April 23, 2006), Lori Graham, review of In the Dark.
Road to Romance, http://www.roadtoromance.ca/ (April 23, 2006), Tracy West, review of Forget Me Not.
Romance Readers at Heart Presents … in Touch with Marliss Melton, http://mmelton.romancereaderatheart.com/ (April 23, 2006), "Our Spotlight Author for December 2004."