Friday, December 8, 2017

COLLIDE Blog Tour! ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! I'm very happy to have Melanie Stanford here today with her new book COLLIDE! At this stop on her blog tour, she's talking about what she did with some of Gaskell's secondary characters! I hope you enjoy and be sure to enter the giveaway! Details are at the bottom of the page! 

Thanks, Candy, for having me today! I’m so excited that COLLIDE, my second Romance Revisited novel, has finally released!

COLLIDE is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. It wasn’t the easiest classic to modernize. Margaret’s parents and Mr. Thornton’s mother all play important roles in the story, as do Mr. Bell, Nicholas and Bessie Higgins, and Boucher—the man who throws a rock at Mr. Thornton and ends up hitting Margaret instead.

So what did I do with all these secondary characters? Chop chop chop went the axe. ;) Just kidding. I did cut Mr. Bell and Boucher (forgive me die-hard N&S fans for that) but there was no way I could get rid of Nicholas and Bessie Higgins. In the original story, Nicholas and Bessie both hurt and help Margaret’s relationship with Mr. Thornton. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Nicholas tells Mr. Thornton about Fred, and Thornton replies, “He was her brother.” The look on Nicholas’ face is perfection.

In COLLIDE, Bessie Higgins becomes Bronwyn, Maggie’s roommate and a friend of her brother’s. Nicholas Higgins becomes Nico, Bronwyn’s boyfriend. A romantic relationship fit a lot better in my mind than a father-daughter one. As a character, Bronwyn is very different from Bessie, but she does for Maggie what the original character does for Margaret—be a friend. Bronwyn is one of my favorite characters in the story because she’s strong, both physically and emotionally. She says what she thinks. She’s comfortable in who she is, in contrast to Maggie who’s still trying to figure herself out. But Bronwyn is also vulnerable, and a little bit lost in her relationship with Nico. She’s trying to save him, even if it’s destroying her.

Nico and Nicholas are also very dissimilar. Where they are both kind, Nico is selfish. Where Nicholas is more serious and angry, Nico is laid-back and funny. I love Nicholas as a character but there were many moments when I disliked Nico. Also, moments when I loved him.

For me, secondary characters aren’t always easy to write. There’s a struggle not to let them fall flat, or be too one-dimensional. Gaskell does so well with Nicholas and Bessie that I tried hard to make Bronwyn and Nico as memorable as the originals, despite their differences. And if you don’t know the original story, I hope you find Bronwyn and Nico as compelling, tragic, and layered as I set out to make them.

Collide by Melanie Stanford


When their worlds collide, neither will be left unscarred.

Suffocated by her small-town life, Maggie Hale runs away to Las Vegas to pursue her dream as a contemporary dancer. But Vegas doesn’t turn out like she imagined. She doesn’t make it into Essence Dance Theater and the only job she can find is working in a greasy diner—again. 

Jay Thornton wants to quit enforcing and own his own boxing gym one day. But his loan shark boss saved him from the streets as a kid and he owes the man everything. Cutting ties isn’t so simple. 

When Maggie pledges to pay back a friend’s loan, she becomes Jay’s next mark. Sparks fly between them, but choosing each other could mean the end of both their dreams.

COLLIDE is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s NORTH & SOUTH

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FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

About the Author

Melanie Stanford writes romance and YA of different genres.
Her first novel, SWAY, a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, debuted December 2015 from Samhain Publishing and was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Since Samhain's closure, Melanie decided to republish SWAY herself, along with the rest of her Romance Revisited series: CLASH, a Romance Revisited novella, COLLIDE, and a third novel coming 2018. She also has short stories featured in the Austenesque anthologies THE DARCY MONOLOGUES and THEN COMES WINTER.

Melanie reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow.

Connect with Melanie Stanford

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Melanie is generously giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melanie, thank you for being a guest here today! Congratulations on the release of Collide! It sounds like a wonderful story! I'm looking forward to reading it!

How about you, friends? 


  1. I guessed right. I was convinced that Bronwyn was Bessie and Nico was Nicholas. I did like them both even Nico for all his faults. The one scene brought tears to my eyes.

    Enjoyed the guest post!

    1. Hi, Sophia Rose! Looks like you've already read the book! I love when a book makes me cry! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love N&S and there are so few variations. Wonderful post

    1. Hi, Becky! I really need to read N&S! I've read a retelling and enjoyed it, but never the original. This one looks really good too. Another one to add to my ever growing TBR list! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Replies
    1. It was my pleasure to have you here, Melanie!! Your story looks amazing! Thank YOU!!

  4. Another N&S lover here! Collide sounds very interesting! Thanks for the great giveaway!

    1. Hello, Pamela! I'm so glad you stopped by! Collide does sound interesting! I hope you get a chance to read it soon! :)

  5. I love N&S but havent read any variations yet! Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. Have heard so so much about this book and would love to win a copy of it.


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