Saturday, August 20, 2022

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - The Crane Family Series by Melony Ann


The Crane Family

Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Melony Ann's The Crane Family Series!


This series is a mafia series revolving around the Crane Family and those close to them. 

The leader of the Crane Mafia is Ryan Crane. He’s the one his entire family and friends go to when they are in trouble and need the kind of help only he can give!

What is the sub-genre and trope? Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

There are 9 different stories in the series. They are all Mafia Romance. 

I have a Billionaire Romance, Office Romance, Forbidden Age-Gap Romance, College Romance, Cop Romance, and MM Romance.


Are you more character or plot driven?

I want to say both. I do. But my stories are all character driven. 

I come up with a plot. I usually even map it out. Not like an outline, but I do write down the idea and map it out a little bit so I have direction. 

From there? The characters completely lead it. Sometimes, they are nice to me and stick close to what I want to do. 

Most of the time? They look at my idea, think how nice it is, then throw every single curveball they can at me and laugh the entire time.


With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

For this series, since it was my first, I wasn’t as organized. I had them all in my head. 

My girlfriend started a doc that we started keeping character names and bits about them. Which helped tremendously because by the time the series was done, I had so many characters that I kept having to constantly ask her questions like, “What was dude’s name that they are after?” Or, “The dude with the tattoo that we decided didn’t have one who Nick shot? What was his name?”


I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Holy God. All of them. 

I had originally only intended writing Billion Dollar Love Story (Book 1). When I got some fairly good feedback, I actually decided to write a second one, Be Mine (Book 2). 

The thing is, when I first initially started, Billion Dollar Love Story was a standalone, Mafia Romance. Be Mine was supposed to be an Office Romance not at all connected to the first one. That did not happen. 

The next thing I know, the Crane Mafia is involved. Taylor and Nicole are screaming for another book for them, Protecting Her (Book 3), and my conclusion, Dangerously Forbidden Love (Book 4), was not a conclusion at all. Nick needed a story and Luke, who was never supposed to be gay, ended up with his own book and a whole different story line than what I had planned for him. 

Before I knew what was happening, a whole series was born, and 2 prequels and a bonus book were written.  


Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

All of my characters are based on males I know. They take on qualities of friends or family or those who mean everything to me and are my entire world. 

Bad guys are based on those I don’t like. In this series, I based my main character off a police officer who works in Florida and is a cover model. The other characters have traits of my loves.


Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?

The female characters all are based on me or my girlfriend. 

As in the male characters, the bad girls are based on those I don’t like. They all take on both of our personalities through the series and their respective books. It’s hard not to do that. I feel like making them feel the most real is always the best option.


Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

There are a lot of scenes that were difficult to write, but the hardest ones for me in this series was the one where Breetana talks about her past. Part of it was her being molested by her uncle. That happened to me. I used that experience in the book. Sort of a way to try and heal.

The other was pregnancy. I put it in because so many people were pushing for it on the app I initially started writing on. I felt like it was something I had to do to appease them, but I hated it. 

First, I do not like pregnancy trope books. I don’t even like writing about kids. But the backstory behind that is that I never really wanted kids. I actually did get pregnant once and just when I was starting to get used to the idea of it and feel a slight desire to want a child, I miscarried. It was painful. I went through it basically alone because the person I was with was incapable of really understanding that I was hurting and needed support. So writing about it is painful for me.


What is your favorite book in the series? 

I think my favorite book in the series is Dangerously Forbidden Love. It was the book I was just longing to write so I think that book will always be my favorite.


I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

Ryan Crane is my favorite character in this series. 

Ryan is based on the guy who literally gave me the courage to put myself out there and write. So, Ryan will always hold a special place in my heart.


Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics?

My favorite couple in this series is actually a split between Ryan and Arianna and Jason and Jessa. 

Arianna and Jessa are both women who are strong in their own rights, even though they have their own struggles. 

Ryan and Jason are both incredibly powerful and dominant men who can bring Arianna and Jessa into the light when they’re filled with their own darkness. 

And, on the same point, Arianna and Jessa are the same way. They are light to Ryan and Jason’s darkness. I love that each character is an individual and can stand on their own, but they are so much stronger together.


How do you get inside these character’s heads to find their perfect HEA?

I think working in first person POV is definitely the best way to do it because I am forcing myself to really think like them. I feel what they feel. They speak through me. 

As odd as that sounds, I think it’s important to really allow myself to feel them and listen to them.  


What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why?

There are a lot of scenes that are truly dynamic, but one of the scenes that truly sticks out for me is one of the first scenes I’ve ever written involving Josh Lucinio and Jessa Holloway. 

The growth he goes through throughout the book is truly something to behold, but the there’s a scene when the two of them are in a shed after they’ve both been kidnapped. I cried. A lot. Each time I read it, I cry even more.


Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others?

His Heart was the hardest book that I have ever written. Ever. 

There is so much going on in it. So many things come to light and come together that it was difficult to keep up. 

Beyond that, though, Nick and Dani were two very difficult characters to write. I saw them one way. They didn’t agree. When I finally started listening to them, though, the book started flowing so much better for me.  


This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book.  It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series.  I feel that it gives the story further depth.  Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline? 

I have a few books in this series that are multiple POVs. It was necessary to do them the way that I did. I love doing them. I love being able to show different characters. 

The issue is that they sometimes end up taking the book. Like in His Heart. Robby and Luke sort of stole the book. 

And in Be Mine. Taylor and Nikki stole the book. 

And then in their story, Protecting Her, I think Arianna and Ryan really shined. 

It’s hard to find a balance and tell all of their stories equally with just as much love and attention. I can’t say I will do it anymore because of the amount of backlash I got for it, but I there’s a possibility. It depends on the characters who are speaking to me.


How long did it take you to write this book/series?

Just over a year. I started it on the Chapters App in January of 2020. I started publishing and taking it off the app in August 2020. I finished it and all of the rewrites that needed to happen from the App and to publishing in October 2021.


How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

They honestly just came to me. I discussed them a bit with another person because I was nervous about them, but they are all just things that I thought about that seemed to fit the book.


If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

I think I’d get along with all of the main characters. But there are characters I’ve written that if I met them in real life, I’d throat punch them in a heartbeat. Matthew Lucinio is one of them. He’d also get a good swift kick to the balls.


Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story?

Nope. Ha! This was supposed to be dipping my feet into the writing world after being gone for so long. But then Ryan just wouldn’t be quiet and other characters started talking with very loud voices!


If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters?

Oh boy.

Jason Crane and Jessa Holloway – Jamie Dornan and Pheobe Tonkin.

Chase Shaw and Breetana Carter – Chris Hemsworth and Reese Witherspoon.

Taylor Reddick and Nicole Carter – Ryan Reynolds and Holland Roden.

Ryan Crane and Arianna Massena – Daniel Rengering and Danielle Campbell.

Nick West and Dani Jade – Matt Bomer and Sandra Bullock.

Luke Massena Robby Earnhart – Tyler Hoechlin and Colton Haynes.

Ethan Crane and Jenni Crane – Peirce Brosnon and Julie Andrews.


Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

Well… You’re hearing this first… 

The Crane family is going to get a HUGE makeover. 

New covers. New edit. New content. Just… New. 

It’s scary. It’s beyond that. It’s terrifying. But it needs to be done, and I am so, so excited for it! 

A bit of a tease? What brought the changes on is a character in another series that had flat out NOTHING to do with the Crane Family. I just recently wrote a cross over between that series and the Crane Family. 

And now everything with Crane’s have changed. Well, not everything. But something big happened that needs to just… be… 

Stay tuned! It should be out at the end of this year!


Check out all my interviews/reviews for Melony Ann!


Melony Ann began writing short stories and poetry as a child. She continued honing her craft over the years until she took the plunge and began publishing her work, despite having severe anxiety.

Melony writes contemporary romance stories that are full of suspense and a lot of steam.

When she isn’t writing, she is loving her family and working to make her life something she deserves.

Melony believes that if her writing can inspire just one person, then all of her hard work is worth it.

Her hope is that her writing allows each and every one of her readers to escape for a little while. To dive into a different world one book at a time.





Available in Kindle Unlimited!

I was bred to take over my family’s mafia. Being the first born, it was something I knew was going to happen. I just didn’t expect it would happen as soon as it did.

My brothers and I spent most of our lives running missions for or with our father. The killings never mattered much to me or Nick. We’ve always been able to compartmentalize them and move on. Not our little brother. They all weighed on Jason.

Until that one fateful day. The day that none of us will ever be able to forget or forgive. The day that changed all of our lives forever. The day that made Jason and Nick run from mafia life. The day that all of my dreams came to a screeching halt.

Now I’ve been thrust into a world both familiar and impossibly unfamiliar. I’m not just doing what my father says anymore. I’m not running missions. I’m leading them. I’m the boss. I’m the leader of one of the most powerful mafias in the entire world. And I’m not anywhere near ready.

Trigger Warnings:
Mafia Romance
Dark Themes


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

When your mafia boss father becomes obsessed with your sexy, beautiful girlfriend, complications are bound to arise.

I never saw Jessa coming, but sitting next to her in class was the best thing that ever happened to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about her when I went home that night. Her wide, innocent eyes haunted my dreams and I couldn’t stop thinking about my lips on hers. I knew she was made for me.

Despite my billions and unlimited resources to keep her hidden from my family, my father set his sights on my girl. I discovered real quick just how far I would go to be her fiercest defender.

To protect her, I would have to unleash a darkness that I fought so hard to keep hidden deep within or leave. I only hope she can forgive me one day.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Mental Health Themes
- Physical/Emotional/Mental Abuse
- Dark Themes

SWEET LIES (alternate ending)

Available in Kindle Unlimited!

Finding a note from my girlfriend saying she’s leaving me wasn’t what I thought I’d walk into when I came home that day. Truthfully, I can’t blame her. It was my fault. Secrets and lies have been sprinkled through our relationship for years.

But I’m not ready to let Jessa go. Walking away isn’t an option. Convinced by my best friend to fight for my girl, I do just that. Though, I’m not ready for the hidden truths that come to light.

Not only do I have to fight for my heart, but also the enemy that lurks in the shadows.

My twin brother and I will do anything to protect our family, and the woman I love. I don’t know if we’ll be standing tall when the battle is over, or if we’ll be crushed in the dark, cruel world of the Lucinio Mafia.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Mental Health Themes
- Mental and Emotional Abuse
- Dark Themes


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

I left the mafia years ago. I can’t deal with emotionless killings like my brothers do. I never expected I’d get sucked back in.

The girl of my dreams walked into my office for an interview last year. I haven’t been able to get her out of my head. Jessa is beautiful, quiet, and mysterious. Ever since I saw her, I couldn’t stop thinking about making her mine. Problem is, I’m the CEO of Crane Enterprises; her boss.

When she doesn’t show up to work, my protective instincts go into overdrive. Surprised me to find out the mafia is after her. They won’t be getting her. Not with my family on her side.

Defending her means admitting I love her and diving back into the dangerous, dark as midnight world I fought so hard to leave. But I’ll do anything to keep her safe. Even if it costs me everything.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Dark Themes
- Mental Health Themes
- Physical Violence
- Mental and Emotional Abuse


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

I’ve always been perfectly content being a billionaire bachelor playboy. My reputation in the tabloids was that of Bedroom God, and I relished in it. Until Breetana.

When I hired her as my Executive Assistant, it was both the best and worst decision I’d ever made. Breetana is everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s the only one who can stand up to me and not take my crap. No matter what I threw at her, she always came through it like a star.

When her sister calls one day, my entire life changes. Breetana is forced to go home to help her, and something in her shifts. She suddenly becomes a scared, jumpy girl instead of the fearless woman I’ve come to love.

No way am I leaving her alone to deal with whatever demons Silver Bay, Minnesota, holds for her. I didn’t expect to be thrown into a world of crime, mafias, and the cartel, but I don’t care. No one is going to take what’s mine from me.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Dark Themes
- Mental and Emotional Abuse
- Mentions of Physical and Sexual Abuse (Mentions from FMC's Past)


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

I didn't always want to be a cop. That would mean stepping into my father's shoes, and I hate him. Little did I know, choosing the profession would be the best thing that ever happened to me.

It led me to the love of my life. Nicole. I fell hard and fast for my girl, despite all the tragedies and loss that brought us together. Nicole and the baby she carried quickly became not only everything I wanted, but also everything I didn't know I needed.

When Nicole's life is threatened by an unknown gang in my city, I vow to her that she'll be safe. I put all of my resources into getting information on this new threat and become increasingly frustrated when I come up empty-handed.

Nicole's growing fear pulls at my heartstrings, and I'm forced to enlist the help of an unlikely ally. In order to keep her from harm, I find myself crossing lines I'd always been shielded from. But I'll do whatever it takes to protect my family. Even if it means being pulled into a dark underworld I can never come back from.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Cop Romance
- Dark Themes
- Physical Violence
- Bullying
- Age Gap


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

Falling in love was never in the cards for me. I've never had a problem getting a companion for the night. Being the leader of the largest and most powerful mafia in the entire world didn't leave me time for anything else.

Unfortunately for me, love doesn't give a damn about schedules or how much free time one has. Love strikes when it wants to, and it does it furiously and without prejudice. For me, love came in the exotically beautiful and completely forbidden Arianna Massena, daughter of a rival mafia.

I do everything I can to stay away from her, but when her father starts treating her like dirt and tries setting her up with the son of another mafia, I'm forced to take action. I won't lose my girl to anyone else, and there's no way I'll ever let her be treated like nothing more than property or a bargaining chip.

Taking Arianna away from the danger that is her father flips both of our world's upside down. I've never been afraid to do what needs to be done to protect my family, but I didn't dare dream the dangerous lengths I'll need to go to in order to protect the woman I love.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Cop Romance
- Dark Themes
- Physical Violence
- Age Gap


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

I never knew who killed my parents, and I didn’t know what was worse. Not knowing, or being a ten year old alone in the streets of Manhattan. I was taken in by a nice homeless man who taught me the basics of survival only to have him also murdered in front of me. Luckily, I was saved by Ethan Crane, a mafia boss who treated me like his own son.

I made it my life’s mission to avenge my parent’s death, but every road I was led down ended in a dead end. Until I met Dani. Beautiful. Fiercely independent. I’m her salvation, and she’s the key to my past. Only neither of us knew it when our paths crossed.

I made a promise to Dani that my family and I would keep her safe from the phantoms she’s running from. I didn’t expect to fall in love with the mysterious girl in the condo across from mine. I didn’t know that her phantoms were my demons.

Falling for her means I need to step back into the darkness I spent so many years separating myself from. It’s the only way to keep my past from destroying the woman who managed to chip away the ice around my heart.

Trigger Warnings:
- Mafia Romance
- Cop Romance
- Dark Themes
- Kidnapping
- MM Romance (Side Characters)


Available in Kindle Unlimited!

Being a gay man in a law enforcement community has never been easy for me. It’s a secret I’ve kept ever since I admitted to myself what I’ve known my entire life. Guarding that secret when I became the right-hand man to the most powerful mafia boss in the world, and also my sister’s husband, was even more important.

I couldn’t allow those in my command to think differently of me because of my sexual orientation.

Then I met Robby. Sexy. Handsome. Smart. So perfect in every way.

Our relationship has barely begun when Robby becomes the target of the Crane Family’s ultimate enemy. Suddenly, I’m faced with losing the only one I’ll ever love, and damn if anyone thinks that’s happening.

As an ATF agent, I’ve had to cross lines to take down the bad guys. As Crane Mafia’s second in command, I’ll do what needs to be done to protect my family.

As a man in love... I’ll become the darkest force this world has ever seen to keep what’s mine safe.

Trigger Warnings:
- MM Romance
- Mafia Romance
- Dark Themes
- Kidnapping
- Age Gap

No comments:

Post a Comment