Friday, November 7, 2014

Melt by Selene Castrovilla Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

 MELT Release Launch and Blog Tour Sign Up

 Welcome to my stop in the MELT by Blog Tour hosted by Jen Halligan PR Literary Publicity. Today on my stop we have a Guest Post + an awesome Tour Wide Giveaway!


MELT by Selene Castrovilla Melt

Published: November 6th, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? Told in dual first person, Joey's words are scattered on the page - reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason - until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away? MELT is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.



Melt’s Connection With The Wizard Of Oz.
Writing a story revolving around The Wizard of Oz came as a surprise to me. I knew something about the story spoke to me – I’d referred to it briefly in my previous novels, both times without planning to do so. When I write, unexpected things come up and out onto the page. It’s magical – and it can be nerve-wracking as well.

Out of the blue, a voice in my head told me to buy The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I listened without question. I always listen to that voice.

But I was busy, and didn’t read it. I just put it down and went about my life.

I take boxing lessons, and got close with my trainer, Joe. He told more than once, “My dad used to beat my mom.” That was sad, but a little too vague to be inspiring. Then one day he looked me in the eyes and said, “My dad used to come home every day and shove a gun down my mom’s throat.” That was a specific image that stuck in my head. He also told me about becoming a teen alcoholic, and how violent he was while drunk. He was tagged a “bad” kid – but no one ever bothered to find out what was going on inside. Finally, he told me about the one girl who believed in him, and loved him.

One night he said to me, “You’re gonna write my story. I just know it.”

I went home, and the voice told me to open The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The page I turned to was the scene in which Dorothy and her friends return to the Emerald City. The Guardian of the Gate is shocked to see them, saying:

“But I thought you had gone to visit the Wicked Witch of the West.”

“We did visit her,” said the Scarecrow.

“And she let you go again?” asked the man, in wonder.

“She could not help it, for she is melted,” explained the Scarecrow.

She is melted. That line resounded with me. I wrote it three times a piece of junk mail. Then I wrote, “Melt.” And I knew that was the title of my book. I started writing Joe’s story – it just came pouring out.

I’ll try to explain the relevance of the quotes without giving out spoilers:

“Instantly the wicked woman gave a loud cry of fear, and then, as Dorothy looked at her in wonder, the Witch began to shrink and fall away.

‘See what you have done!’ she screamed. ‘In a minute I shall melt away.’

‘I’m very sorry, indeed,’ said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see the Witch actually melting away like brown sugar before her eyes.

‘Didn’t you know water would be the end of me?’ asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice.

‘Of course not,’ answered Dorothy. ‘How should I?’”

— From The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

This quote floats at the beginning of the book, free-standing. It’s meant to set the tone of the story. I think the inference is that sometimes our actions have consequences we didn’t expect. And sometimes people are thrust into unfamiliar, even terrifying situations where they are forced to behave in a manner contrary to their nature.

Also, it demonstrates that some people assume the worst in others. The witch can not believe that Dorothy didn’t wish to cause her harm.

Finally, it introduces the theme of melting, in a poignant way because the witch says it as she’s about to vanish forever. This is the first of many ways “melting” is considered throughout the novel.

No Place Like Home

“‘What shall we do?’ asked the Tin Woodman.

‘If we leave her here she will die,’ said the Lion.”

— From The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum

This is at the beginning of the first part of the story: an introduction into Joey’s world about the violence he witnesses at home. “No Place Like Home” is ironic here, because it’s the opposite of what you would think. Instead of feeling happy and safe at home, he lives in a perpetual nightmare.

The quote reflects Joey’s inner torment about wanting to help his mother, but not knowing how. And it shows that he fears for her life. He can’t just abandon her.

Part One — Munchkinland

“She was awakened by a shock, so sudden and severe that if Dorothy had not been lying on the soft bed she might have been hurt. As it was, the jar made her catch her breath and wonder what had happened; and Toto put his cold little nose into her face and whined dismally. Dorothy sat up and noticed that the house was not moving; nor was it dark, for the bright sunshine came in at the window, flooding the little room. She sprang from her bed and with Toto at her heels ran and opened the door.”

— From The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

This is the beginning of the first main section. It’s called Munchkinland because that was the place Dorothy first saw when she landed in Oz, and in this story Dorothy has just arrived in the small town of Highland Park after living in Manhattan. She also meets Joey in “Munchkinland” : Dunkin’ Donuts.

The quote is meant to create the mood surrounding the Dorothy in my story, a stranger in a strange land – going out there without knowing what or who she will encounter. The sunshine mirrors her sunny disposition. It shows she holds – and brings – hope.

Part Two — The Yellow Brick Road
“The next morning the sun was behind a cloud, but they started on, as if they were quite sure which way they were going.

‘If we walk far enough,’ said Dorothy, ‘I am sure we shall sometime come to someplace.’”

— From The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

This is at the beginning of the second main section. It shows that Dorothy and Joey are setting off into their relationship, even though they don’t know what lies ahead. The sun is hidden – meaning that hope is present, but veiled. Dorothy remains the optimist, as her quote indicates.

Part Three — The Great Oz
“The four travelers walked up to the great gate of Emerald City and rang the bell. After ringing several times, it was opened by the same Guardian of the Gates they had met before.

‘What! Are you back again?’ he asked, in surprise.

‘Do you not see us?’ answered the Scarecrow.

‘But I thought you had gone to visit the Wicked Witch of the West.”

‘We did visit her,’ said the Scarecrow.

‘And she let you go again?’ asked the man, in wonder.

‘She could not help it, for she is melted,’ explained the Scarecrow.”

— From The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

This quote is at the beginning of the third and final section. It’s setting the stage for the climax, which of course I can’t reveal. As you now know, it’s the quote that I first read and which set me on my path. It also inspired the title. So clearly it’s paramount to the story, possibly in a way that I don’t even fully understand. But it’s also up to the reader to incorporate it into the story the way they want to. Some readers find it adds depth and another layer, and they love it. Some readers ignore it. There’s no right answer – only what’s right for you.

The bottom line is that everything in life and literature is a metaphor, ours for the taking.

Or the leaving.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Alicia! I hope this has been interesting and illuminating for your readers :) 

You are so welcome, Selene! I loved the post and I'm sure my readers will too! Thank you for stopping by! :)


For the past month leading up to the release of MELT, Selene Castrovilla has shared a fantastic MELTdown post every day on her blog! In these posts she's shared tidbits of "insider information” about MELT: its content, its inspiration and her writing process... including excerpts! The first post is HERE, and you use the post navigation at the bottom of the page to click through and read them. Enjoy

Join us for MELT's Online Launch Party!


MELT Online Launch Party 

You’ve invited to celebrate the release of Selene Castrovilla’s MELT at her Facebook Launch Party on November 9, 2014. The party will be from 5:00 – 11:00 PM EST, so we hope you’ll stop by! There will be prizes, and very special guests: Beth Fehlbaum, Gae Polisner, Cassie Shine, and Kathy Cannon Weichman

 We hope to see you there!
[RSVP Here]

Selene CastrovillaSelene Castrovilla is an award-winning teen and children’s author who believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. She is the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ASD Publishing. Her third children’s book with Calkins Creek Books, Revolutionary Friends, was released in April 2013. She is also a contributing author to UncommonYA. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her website for book excerpts and more information!

~ Monday, November 3rd ~
~ Wednesday, November 5th ~
LuLo Fangirl

~ ~ ~ ~ Friday, November 7th ~ ~ ~ ~
Addicted Readers

~ Monday, November 10th ~
Fictionally Obsessed

~ Wednesday, November 12th ~
Optimistic Mommy

~ Friday, November 14th ~
Actin' Up With Books

~ Monday, November 17th ~
A Leisure Moment

~ Wednesday, November 19th ~
The Best Books Ever

~ Friday, November 21st ~

Event Organized By:


  1. Thanks for hosting, Alicia! We hope to see you at MELT's Online Launch Party on Sunday!
    ~ Jen @

  2. I think its great how the author was inspired by the book The Wizard of Oz to show the life of Joe. I can only imagine the true horrors he had to endure. I am also excited knowing that the Wizard of Oz story does end well, and hoping that is so true for Joe.

  3. I'm interested to hear the rest of Joe's story. It sounds traumatic. :/

  4. Thanks for this Giveaway it is wonderful and I would so love to win mostly I would so love to give this to my mom for her Birthday on Dec 5 she would so love this alot it would just make her day so much thanks again


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