Guest Post: Melissa Groeling author of Lights Out

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday. Woohoo the week is almost half over. Today Melissa Groeling, author of Lights Out and Traffic Jam, is stopping by to talk about YA Fest and finding inspiration. I haven’t heard of this event before so I’m excited to learn more. Also, below you’ll find my review of her horror novel Lights Out. Soon, I’ll be reviewing her YA novel, Traffic Jam. Without further ado, here’s Melissa.

Hey TB! How are you? Thank you so much allowing me to darken your doorstep. I bought refreshments. *hands over some tasty iced mochas*

Okay, so I have to share this with you.

Last weekend, I attended this book signing event held in Easton, Pennsylvania. It’s called the YAFest 2014. It basically throws 50 young adult writers in a room, letting them promote their books for the hordes of kids (and adults) that poured through the doors. And pour they did! The place was packed. I was tempted to do a bit of crowd-surfing just to get to the bathroom!

So anyway, about two hours in, my voice was shot from talking to so many people. But then a girl and her mother came up to my table. The girl was maybe around eleven years old and her mother explained to me that her daughter was ready to up her reading level. They were at the event to scout out anything that grabbed her attention.

Now, this girl was very sweet and so excited to be there, I couldn’t help but realize that her contagious excitement was exactly the way I always feel whenever I write. It was that same giddiness of discovering something new, of creating a plot that spins your mind out to different places. And when she started telling me with this huge grin about how she writes her own poetry, I had no choice but to high-five her.

Here was this girl, so many years behind me and I could see myself in her so clearly. And to think she was only eleven!

After meeting her, I began to think to myself that as a writer, I hope that’s a feeling that I never lose. The excitement, the drive to create, that overwhelming urge to share with the people you love or complete strangers, the words that you put down on paper, whether it’s poetry or a story.

There are plenty of people out there who write with the hope of striking it rich. But if that’s the only reason you’re writing, then it’s possible that you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

To bottle up that girl’s excitement, I think that would be all the encouragement we need to keep doing what we do.

To keep writing.

Lights Out Blurb:

Lights Out cover

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

My Review:

This is not the type of book to give you a warm fuzzy feeling. If you’re expecting that, put it down. However, if you’re in the mood for a chilling action-packed thriller this might be what you’re looking for. Paul is a hitman who wants to leave the biz. However, his boss isn’t willing to let him go. Not alive at least. Then there’s Ethan, a kid that Paul wants to save from his master. Yes, master. Ethan is hired out for people to do as they please. Paul had a similar upbringing and as he gets to know Ethan he has to battle his own personal demons from his childhood. 

Speaking of demons, Paul is being chased not only by his boss’s associates, Ethan’s master and his goons, but by a man or thing who refuses to die. 

This book turned my stomach on many occasions. This novel explores the dark side of human nature and the things people do to others is disgusting, especially when it happens to children. And it happens more than we’d like to admit. 

While I was disgusted by many of the characters in this book, I had a hard time putting it down. Each chapter ending left me wanting more, compelling me to finish until I reached the end. It’s not an easy read by any means, but the character development and the action make it thrilling. And it was the perfect book to read late at night when it was stormy outside. It did make me jumpy, though. 

About the Author:


Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

Come find me at Facebook!

Twitter: @stringbean10











About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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16 Responses to Guest Post: Melissa Groeling author of Lights Out

  1. Writing for the love of writing and reading for the love of reading. That’s what it’s all about!! I will never lose my excitement for reading! Great guest post :).

  2. Great review! Sometimes it’s nice to break away from the warm and fuzzy stories.
    Thanks for introducing us to Melissa, even though she is a New York Giants fan. 🙂

  3. Another great review and, what sounds like, a fun event in Pennsylvania. Thanks so much, TB and Melissa! Lights Out sounds like a book I’d really enjoy!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  4. You guys are great lol Thanks so much for having me, TB!

  5. Nana Prah says:

    This post deserves a cupcake. Children are the best to emulate. They live life as if that’s all they have to do, which in essence, it is.

  6. A fan (a FAN!) commented on a photo I posted on Instagram. That was the first time a complete stranger had reached out in any way based on my book. That moment is what writing is all about. Okay, so she’s technically not a fan in the sense she wants to start a fan club, but she liked my book enough to follow me on social media, which means more than anything I can think of.


    • TBM says:

      That’s wonderful and I bet it felt incredible. I still remember the first time a fan sent me an email telling me how much she liked one of my novels. Writing has lots of ups and downs, but the ups are special.

  7. Lights Out looks like an intense story. Thanks for introducing me to the author.

    I’m always enthusiastic when it comes to writing and anything writing-related, even when I’m dead tired.

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