writer chick phd


portrait of the author, a smiling light-skinned woman with slightly purple hair and galaxy nebula leggings on a skating rink

hi there!

My name is Melissa Joy, and I’m a novel writer from Colorado with a PhD in astronomy. I write books for teens and adults, and I’ve got several novels in various stages of the writing and publishing process. Sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date, and get a free short story and scene

In between happilys ever after, I enjoy artistic skating, archery, epic cosplay, music making, and occasional science research projects. Wander around my website if you like, or drop me a note here or on social media, I'd love to connect! 

Find your Fun

cover image of The Prom Redo, a short story by Melissa J. Roche

"I know that look."

He snapped his gaze back to her face, raising an innocent eyebrow. "This look?"

"You're wondering if you can keep up with my mad skills on the dance floor."

Kriss and Chase, The Prom Redo

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Sign up for access to a Skate Cute epilogue scene and short story, and the first two chapters of Ever After, Etc, book 2 in the Sacreola Sweethearts series

a peek at my projects

Sacreola Sweethearts #1

Astronomy PhD student Kriss finds an escape in artistic skating at the rink in her old hometown. But she can't escape the attention of two familiar admirers from the nearby fire station.

Status: Out now! Buy it here

Read an excerpt here

25% author proceeds support the BoCo Wildfire Fund

Ever After, Etc

Sacreola Sweethearts #2

Romance author Angie knows that happiness doesn't come in ever after doses. But when her favorite bookstore is threatened by redevelopment, she launches a daring writing project to help save the shop... and the cute shop owner.

Status: Editing, expected May 2024

Photo credit: Lucas George Wendt

Eat, Drink, & Be Married

Pack Your Bags anthology

For biologist Sarah, the best thing about her sister's wedding in Puerto Rico is the plants. The worst: spending the night in the bathroom instead of flirting with the best man. Then she finds out she's accidentally in his room.

Status: Out now! Buy it here

Photo credit: Angelo Pantazis

Explorers #2

Set sail on the high seas of imagination! Together with my young co-authors Ressa Draco and Gabriel M. James, we bring you the second book in our Explorers series, featuring dragons, caves, seven scheming hedgehog-wizards, one suspicious snowy owl, and a harrowing hunt for a legendary hidden treasure! Find out more on the Explorers page

Status: Out now! Buy it here

cover image for Date Night in December, a free epilogue scene by Melissa J. Roche

"The cast is off. You know what that means..."

Chase sat forward, propping his left elbow on the table and angling his forearm toward her, his hand open as if to shake hers. His eyes danced with challenge.

"Left-handed arm wrestling match. You and me. Right now."

Kriss and Chase, Date Night in December

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snippets of skating

blurbs from the blog

Why I Write Romance

Posted on September 19, 2023

Why romance? Isn’t it the world of bulging pecs and ripped bodices, of cheesy lines and flimsy plots, of dog-eared pages tucked into drawers?

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cover image for the author's blog tour post

Skate Cute Blog Tour

Posted on August 6, 2022

Skate Cute and I went on tour! Read the posts to learn my book and author secrets.

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wildfire smoke from the Marshall Fire at sunset, taken near the author's home

Supporting My Local Wildfire Relief Fund

Posted on April 27, 2022

25% of my author proceeds from Skate Cute goes to support victims of the Marshall Fire in my local community.

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say hi

hola. bonjour. salaam alaikum.

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