My Daily Meltdown: Hello, Yellow Brick Road!

Welcome to My Daily Meltdown, where I’m counting down to my Nov. 6 release of MELT with interesting facts about its creation.

Today I address the cover. I get so many comments about it. Where did my book designer get a picture of what looks like The Yellow Brick Road? And why does it look so eerie?

It looks like The Yellow Brick Road because it IS The Yellow Brick Road. At least, some theme park designer’s conception of it. And it’s eerie because at the time the photo was taken, the park was abandoned.

There was a theme park called Land of Oz which operated for ten years, from 1970-1980. Why did it close? Well, I can’t fathom how it remained open for so long. The Yellow Brick Road was cool (luckily for me!), but the rest was totally cheesy! Let’s just say the costumes weren’t on a par with Disneyland’s. They looked like the costumes you buy in a party store for Halloween (the most flimsy costumes – I might add.) You could see the people’s faces through the eyes! The Cowardly Lion’s costume was so shoddy that he looked emaciated and flea-ridden. I have no idea how anyone thought these costumes would be acceptable. Add yet, for ten years, they were. Go figure.

The second problem with the part was that on top of a North Carolina mountain – hard to reach and apparently cold much of the time! (Why not build a park in the Andes?) I watched a video of people visiting the abandoned park on YouTube, and they said it was spring – and yet there was snow on the ground. (I was going to post a video link or two, but they are also so very cheesy. The videographers all added in silly commentary, when winding down the eerie paths with no sound would be much more effective!)

I would’ve liked to see the park when it was abandoned – but now it has been restored to the point where they open it for one weekend in October. Plus, spring through fall they rent it out for private parties. You can also take a guided tour down The Yellow Brick Road, if you can gather 15 people. This might be fun – if it wasn’t so darn far and unappealingly desolate!

What sounds like the most fun is renting Dorothy’s House – which can be by the night or week. I may consider this in the summer – when hopefully there will be no snow! It could be a fun place to write. I wouldn’t consider doing a book signing there – I mean, who would make that trek? (Which is a shame – because how cool would it be to have a book signing on The Yellow Brick Road or at Dorothy’s house?)

But I digress.

My friend Pascale found a picture of the then-abandoned road on Google images.

Photo by Sarah Delk.

Photo by Sarah Delk.


We were looking for photos to post with quotes from the book. But I knew we couldn’t use this photo because we didn’t hold the rights.

When the book designer started her work, I sent her the picture and suggested that she search for something similar. She said that she couldn’t find anything like it on stock image sites. I urged her to find who took the picture, contact them, and secure the rights.

That’s what she did.

The result: The cover of my dreams!

My awesome cover!

My awesome cover!

If you’d like to know about visiting Oz at what’s now known as Emerald Mountain, you can read about it here:

Personally, I think The Yellow Brick Road is the coolest thing in the park by far, and I’m grateful that Sarah Delk ventured up the mountain and took that picture while the park was still abandoned – setting the perfect tone for my cover. That, my friends, is serendipity 🙂

Bye for now.

Bonus trivia: Actress/singer Debbie Reynolds was hired to participate in the festivities on opening day in 1970 – along with her daughter Carrie Fisher (before Carrie was Princess Leia.)


I invite you to join my street team CASTROVILLA’S CRUSADERS and help spread the word! My fans are my secret weapon 😉 I will bestow great rewards for your efforts, because I appreciate you so very much!!!

You can see the prizes to be won on the Facebook group, but here’s one big incentive:

You may win exclusive access to read the sequel to MELT months before it’s available to the public!!

Here’s how you join Castrovilla’s Crusaders:

Step 1: Fill out sign up form:

Step 2: Request to join the Castrovilla Crusaders Facebook Group:

Step 3: Review the list of potential tasks and point levels, and check out the amazing prizes (in files section of FB group)… then get started!

Step 4: Submit completed tasks to earn points to win prizes! Submission form:


Don’t forget to pre-order Melt on Amazon for $2.99 to get your $2 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card! Just contact me at with your receipt now through Nov. 5, and I’ll e-mail it to you! Have a cup o’ Joe in Dunkin’ Donuts while reading about Joe in Dunkin’ Donuts!


Have you seen the amazing MELT book trailer created by a teen??? Here it is:

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