Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Chasing Harmony by Melanie Bell

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melanie Bell will award a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I’m fascinated by coming-of-age stories. People’s emotions are strong when they’re young, and they’re experiencing many things for the first time. If I want to tell an emotionally powerful story, I can draw on memories of first loves, the fears I had when I didn’t yet understand much about the world, and early experiences that involved the five senses, like listening to music or building a fort outside.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Anna collects road signs, so she’d probably have a few hanging in her locker, along with her clarinet and music books. She might also have some cartoons, CDs, and a stuffed animal in there.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

As a teenager, I wrote a story for my friend group where we found a world underground and all gained superpowers. Mine was the ability to understand and speak every language. I like traveling, so I’d love to be able to communicate with anyone anywhere, and to enjoy reading, writing, and media in other languages, too!

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

I think the Hunger Games trilogy is brilliant. The books are fast paced, with an innovative concept and immersive world. Like many YA novels, they use the trope of a love triangle, but it’s never really about love – it’s about the main character’s resilience and choosing between different sets of values to live by.

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

If only I was a better singer – shows like American Idol seem fun. Or Eurovision! I’d rather perform in front of a crowd than be on a show where a bunch of people are stuck living together somewhere and the fun comes from watching their interpersonal drama.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

When I was very young, I liked watching Barney. These memories stand out because I daydreamed about making a TV show like it, only mine would star talking cats. I was going to be CEO of this whole corporation, with merchandise, a theme park, and everything!

Favorite pizza toppings.

I love cheese, veggies, and various pizza combinations involving these ingredients. But my old favorite is black olives and mushrooms.

Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called?

How about something for kids (and adults) who love watching machines at work? I’d call it “Construction!” It would have chocolate rocks, toffee debris, and a bulldozer-yellow banana base.

Playlist for your current book.

Chasing Harmony has a Spotify playlist that includes most of the songs referenced in the book!

Favorite class in high school. Why?

In my last year of high school, I enrolled in an English class at the closest university. We had a lot of online discussion and occasional meetings in person. I’m grateful for this opportunity, as I was able to learn and engage at a higher level than I was used to, and it was really exciting! My best educational opportunities have been those I’ve advocated for myself. School tends to be standardized, which means it often isn’t meeting everyone’s needs. If you’re in school and it isn’t working for you, I’m strongly in favor of making a case for yourself to customize your experience!

A refreshing YA debut from Canadian author Melanie Bell, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Becky Albertalli, and Nina LaCour.

Melanie Bell has created a compelling coming-of-age story, featuring a bisexual protagonist, for those that can relate to the search for untapped potential. Told in alternating timelines on Prince Edward Island and Vancouver, Chasing Harmony reminds us of the exhilarating feeling that comes with hearing your heart’s song.

Piano prodigy Anna Stern is used to having all eyes on her. As she becomes a teenager, Anna struggles to find her identity without the soundtrack of sonatas and concertos. There’s also the worry that comes with the crushing expectations of her musical gift and her parents’ imploding marriage.

Anna finds refuge in her best friend, Liss, who is full of magic and escape plans. However, now their relationship is changing and Anna is starting to fall for her. Adding to the complicated status is new kid Darien, who is always vying for Anna's attention.

As the haunting spectre of burnout lurks close by, an upcoming performance with Liss will determine both of their futures. With everything building to a crescendo, what follows is an authentic life in the making.

Read an Excerpt

Liss’s violin, marbleized wood luminous as eyes. Her foot’s proximity. Liss outshining her. An inch between sole and polished body. Liss so satisfied. Hesitation. Liss’s lips touching her, Liss’s gifts untouchable. Impact before she realizes there’s been an impact. Hideous cracking sounds. Again, again, encore.

There is a sense of cold grandeur in Anna’s eyes. In the keys of every piano are salamanders, scorpions, grass snakes, rats. Anna is made of piano keys. The violin is on the floor and the pinchy flat of her right foot is through it and touching the uncolorful speckles. The music room has windows but they’re high and hard to see through. Anna’s pulse is doubled where the veins stick out. Beethoven is a musical negative. Everyone had loved them. Past is a negative sometimes set to music. The violin is in two main pieces with a hole scrunched in the middle and assorted splinters. The violin is back in the case on the shelf. It has a name on it. Adrenalin has Anna’s veins alight. Liss now owns two halves of a violin. The splinters would be hers too but Anna has picked them up and thrown them on top of the lint and pizza box in the garbage. A piano is too big to stomp through. Love? She shudders. A splinter is lodged in Anna’s index finger just below the nail.

About the Author: Melanie Bell is a Canadian multi-genre writer living in the UK. Her books include a short story collection,Dream Signs, a nonfiction title, The Modern Enneagram, and the YA novel Chasing Harmony. She has written for several publications including Contrary, Cicada, The Fiddlehead, and Huffington Post. She loves music, art, and nature, and aspires to see as much of the world as she can.

Website: http://inspireenvisioning.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InspireEnvisioning/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/InspireEnvision

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chasing-harmony-melanie-bell/1141640134?ean=9781960869999
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/chasing-harmony
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/631773896/Chasing-Harmony
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Harmony-Melanie-Bell-ebook/dp/B0BYSRC29S

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you! Hi, readers - what makes you add a book to your keeper shelf?

  2. I look forward to reading this.

  3. I'm very fond of both. I think I'd have to say beaches, though, since I grew up on an island of beaches, currently live near another one, and have never gotten altitude sickness from a beach!