Read more of Melanie’s work on Medium
What We Keep
Colorado Book Award Winner Rise: An Anthology of Change
includes Ms. Kallai’s Memoir, What We Keep.
“If Rachel’s life taught me anything, it is that the human spirit is more powerful than circumstance. I’ve also learned that grief is forever. It doesn’t fade, and we don’t get over it—it becomes a part of who we are. Pain reminds us of the beautiful people we’ve lost and lets us keep them alive in our memories, our hearts, and our actions. Sometimes if we’re lucky, we become the parts of them that we valued most, allowing them to live on while we grow into more complex humans. Because of Rachel, I am bold, I make friends without judgments, and I know how to laugh at myself.”
Melanie Kallai grew up in Tampa Bay area in an eccentric little town called Gibsonton. She published her first book, Eternity Rising, in 2010, while pursuing her B.A. in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before that, Melanie spent fifteen years teaching dance to children and performing every chance she got. Her books, Afternoon Tea and Ballet Class, were inspired by her youngest dancers and illustrated by a former student turned talented artist. Her most current work, a non-fiction memoir titled, What We Keep, was published in the 2020 Colorado Book Award winning anthology, Rise: An Anthology of Change. Melanie is a member of the Northern Colorado Writers, Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, son, and capricious dog, and she travels as often as possible.
Available on Kindle
After committing a government theft of an alien substance that is being fashioned into indestructible weapons, Colonel Samuel Ganesh must unlock the secrets of the material that threatens extinction of the entire human race. He enlists reclusive scientist, Dr. Lee Tripple and sexy Special Unit spy, Maeve Daire, who has a secret of her own. But, while discovering how to kill the alien material, Lee discovers something else—something that could change the whole of mankind.
Take a peek at an elegant afternoon tea through a child’s eyes. This story is a sprinkle of etiquette, a spoonful of whimsy and teacup of fun!
Ballet class is the best, but there is a lot to remember. Join the fun and experience a dance class with a group of enthusiastic young dancers.
“A suspenseful plot with fascinating characters. I especially liked Beardon. His conflicting loyalties felt very real to me. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
The story moved fast, robbing me of much needed sleep. The science seemed plausible. And even the minor characters were developed enough to understand the motivation behind their actions. An excellent debut novel! This is an author to watch!”
“After reading this book, my daughters think they are fancy when they drink tea! This sparked a great discussion on how “afternoon tea” is a very important part of a culture for some people. Super sweet book, and well-written!”
“In the Ballet Class, a young dancer takes readers on a “tour” of a ballet class. Readers learn how to dress, how to act and what to expect during a ballet class. The positive, helpful and encouraging book is perfect for new dancers who might be intimidated by their first ballet class, students needing a refresher or any young dancer wanting to share their world with others. I highly recommend this lovely and informative book!”
“Beautifully written and most entertaining. My seven year old daughter Kiku and I read it four times and sang it too! Afternoon Tea by Mel-a-nie! Thank you for this “read to me – I’ll read to you” type of book…best book line “whistle to me – I’ll whistle to you”! We will treasure this lovely gift always!!!”
“This book is a great read. The characters are very well developed throughout the story without the generic extensive character intros. The technology brought about in the book is an interesting take of something that could come about in the foreseeable future. Overall, it’s a great read!”
“This book is so sweet and my 6 year-old loves it! It is written in rhyme-style, which holds her attention, and touches on all the important parts of getting ready for a ballet class!”