Melinda Clayton is the author of two series: The Cedar Hollow Series, which includes novels Appalachian Justice, Return to Crutcher Mountain, Entangled Thorns, and Shadow Days, and The Tennessee Delta Series, which includes Blessed Are the Wholly Broken and A Woman Misunderstood. Clayton also authored Making Amends, a novel of psychological suspense.
In addition to writing, Clayton has an Ed.D. in Special Education Administration and is a licensed psychotherapist in the states of Florida and Colorado (now on retired status). She works as a writing tutor for Pearson Education’s Smarthinking, teaches for Southern New Hampshire University's online MFA program, and is a monthly contributor to IndiesUnlimited, named as one of Publishers Weekly's “Six Great Blogs for Indie Authors.”
Awards and Recognition
- Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Gold Winner in 2013 [Appalachian Justice]
- Finalist for the University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s Synergy Program in 2013 [Appalachian Justice]
- Sapphic Readers Book Club Book of the Year in 2011 (under a different imprint) [Appalachian Justice]
- Finalist in the 2014 Kindle Book Awards [Blessed Are the Wholly Broken]
Press and Media Mentions
- Publishers Weekly review of Blessed Are the Wholly Broken: Clayton ... has written an emotionally charged, engrossing book that tackles life's large and often overwhelming questions. Phillip and Anna Lewinsky are struggling with heartache and grief after the death of their first child when Anna discovers that she is pregnant at age 43. Shuttling between the past and the present, Clayton probes the couple's troubled world, as Phillip looks back at their early relationship. He recalls that when Anna shortened his name in conversation that, "as silly as it may sound, particularly given all we'd suffered at that point, it saddened me, as if I'd slipped a notch in her esteem, no longer worthy of those extra letters." With another child on the way, the couple wrestles with their demons .... Clayton writes with a raw immediacy, and the multiple narratives satisfyingly converge to create an intense and compelling atmosphere.
- Library Journal Review of Appalachian Justice: Tackling such issues as misogyny, sexuality, and domestic abuse, Clayton deftly presents the social climate of the sheltered mining town of Cedar Hollow, WV. At the helm is Billy May Platte, reflecting on her troubled life as she lies dying in a hospice. Having learned long ago about the difficulties of being different, Billy May tries to come to terms with the violent beating she suffered at 14 owing to her romantic interest in another girl. The cast of characters who surround our protagonist are disturbingly authentic, representing the victims of intolerance and their brutish oppressors. VERDICT Billy May’s colloquial narration will draw readers in and make them feel like they are sitting vigil at her bedside as she discusses the injustices of her past. The tale she weaves brings Cedar Hollow and its mountain to life in brilliant and horrifying color.