Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Bash ~ Celebrating with Melissa Tagg!

Today's guest is Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last - a contemporary romance that just released this month! I'm getting ready to dive into it, and I'm excited - I've heard great things! Read on to learn more about this debut author and her book...


Amber: Welcome, Melissa! I'm excited to switch places and host you now. =) What does autumn mean to you, in your writing career and in your life? Is there something you especially love about the season?

Melissa: Autumn is my favorite season by far. I love everything about it—the cooler weather, the beauty of harvest (I’m a true Midwest girl!), my birthday and everything pumpkin. But probably my favorite thing about fall is that sense of change it brings. I love my routine, yes, but at the same time, I tend to crave change in many ways…and autumn always feeds that part of me. =)

Amber: I so love this season, too - such a beautiful time of year! And happy early birthday!!

So, if the hero of Made to Last was invited to a harvest party, what would be his reaction? If he decided to go, what would he wear and how might he get involved?

Melissa: Oh, he’d be all about a harvest party, I’m sure. Why? Because, like me, my heroine loves autumn, so she’d totally be attending…in which case, he’d definitely want to be there. LOL! He would wear his usual—jeans and a tee. And he’d totally start a hay-throwing fight during a hay ride.

Amber: OK, if I wasn't already eager to read this book...I am now! I love a hero that's totally in love with the heroine. And a guy with a sense of humor? Let me at 'im! ;)

What is your heroine’s favorite part about autumn where she lives?

Melissa: My heroine lives in the Appalachians, so she loves the beauty of autumn—the fiery colors and crisp mornings. She also loves the excuse to wear a flannel shirt. =)

Amber: Nice! Could you share a snippet from Made to Last?

Melissa: Here’s an autumn-ish snippet from about halfway through the book. My main characters, Matthew and Miranda, have traveled up to Minnesota to spend time with Matthew’s family and they’re hanging out at a pumpkin patch. Just a couple notes by way of explanation: At this point in the story, Matthew isn’t very happy with Miranda. =) And Matthew’s niece, Cee, is deaf—she speaks in sign language and reads lips.

~ Excerpt from Made to Last ~

“Okay, we’ve got our pumpkin,” Matthew announced as he lugged the pumpkin. “Now what?”

“The hay bale maze!” Cee spoke, her hands moving rapidly. “I want to go with Randi.”

Something warm and maternal sparked in Miranda, warding off the chill of the Midwest wind…and Matthew’s ire. Like she’d seen Matthew do, she waited until Cee’s eyes were trained on her face to speak. “It’d be my pleasure. You’ll make sure we don’t get lost, right?”

Cee gave a serious nod. “I know the way.”

“She should. She’s been through the thing three times already this fall,” Jase said.

“How about Jase and I go pay for the pumpkin and load it up?” Izzy suggested. “You two can take Cee through the maze, and we’ll meet you back at the car.”

Miranda caught Matthew’s eye. He grunted his agreement. Was the man going to play caveman all day? They followed Cee to the structure. The hay bale walls stood at least six feet high, casting shadows over the ground.

“This is some maze. I’m impressed,” Miranda said as they started out. “Wouldn’t it be scary in the dark?”

Cee skipped along.

“She can’t read your lips if she can’t see your face, Rand.” Matthew walked on the other side of Cee, about as far away from Miranda as he could. Both hands were jabbed into his jacket pocket.

“Maybe I was talking to you. Although, why I would, I have no idea. You give the silent treatment better than a thirteen-year-old girl.” And no, she hadn’t missed the way he’d reverted to the shortened, less personal version of her name. “You’re the one who wanted me to come today. I’m sorry if I’m totally ruining it for you, but I came because you asked me to.”

“You came because you don’t want me to tell anyone you’re a liar.”

Miranda stopped, dark hurt trekking a path straight to her heart. No, his judgment didn’t surprise her. But its sharpness did. “Maybe you should just do it. Publish the truth about Blaze and I. Whatever might happen couldn’t be worse than your high-and-mighty treatment. I’m sorry I’m not the picture of moral perfection you obviously want.”

The musty smell of the hay pricked her eyes and fogged her thoughts. What did Matthew want from her?

Up ahead from a fork in the path, Cee whirled around. “Come on, keep up!” She turned to the right.

“Are you sure that’s the right way?” Matthew called after her. But Cee had already galloped ahead. He turned back to Miranda.

She stood rooted in place, arms folded, a shield against his disapproval. He dropped his hands from his pocket, his tight stance loosening. “I’m the last person to expect perfection.” He rubbed his hand over his chin. “But honesty…I value that. So yeah, I’m having trouble getting over the fact that everything I thought I knew about you is a lie.”

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: Oooh, this is intriguing! 1) I love the fall references! Yay for corn mazes! 2) Sounds like some interesting characters and some great tension brewing - double yay! Thanks for sharing with us, Melissa. =)



Melissa is giving away a paperback copy of Made to Last! Here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address (required). Let us know what you think of this introduction to the hero and heroine of Made to Last! And please do wish Melissa a happy early birthday (saw on her website's calendar that it's this Saturday, the 28th)! =)
  • This drawing is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
  • One winner will be randomly drawn using the List Randomizer on Random.org, and will be announced on this blog on Saturday, September 28th.
Tomorrow's guest is Elizabeth Ludwig, and we'll be chatting about Dark Road Home!


bonton said...

Loved the introduction to the characters in your book, Melissa, & I loved the added challenge of a deaf child in the book!

Have heard nothing but good things about your book, & would love to read it! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds cute! Good luck all.
(not an entry)

bookshelvesandwindows said...

This excerpt makes me want to read this book even more! I am really interested in learning ASL, so I'm excited to read a book with a deaf character in it!

bookshelvesandwindows said...

I forgot my email!


Anna B. said...

Wow! I LOVED the excerpt!! The characters, settings, the style...oh my goodness! :D

I know a guy who's birthday is one day before yours! Happy birthday!!! :D

Here is my email:


Have a great day! And thanks for hosting this giveaway!!!! :D

Amy C said...

Looks like a read not to be missed. Thanks.
campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Melissa Tagg said...

@bonton - so glad you've heard good things. That makes this author smile. :)

@JuJu - thanks for entering!

@bookshelvesandwindows - I don't know much ASL myself but I found a ton of helpful videos on YouTube when I was writing scenes with Cee in them. Just FYI. :)

@Anna - thanks so much for the kind words about that scene. I love that particular scene because Miranda finally gets a taste of Matthew's home life. He spends most of the book in her world, so it was fun to bring Miranda into his for awhile.

@Amy - thanks for entering. :)

Barbara Thompson said...

The excerpt made me more interested in your book. Excited and looking forward to reading your book. Thank you for sharing and please enter my name in the giveaway. Happy Early Birthday!! Hope you have a wonderful birthday!
Barbara Thompson

Amber Stokes said...

*Waving to Melissa!*

Hey, (almost) birthday girl! ;) Thanks for stopping by to respond to the comments!

And thank you, everyone, for your entries and encouraging words for Melissa!


Rissi said...

Yay! Loved seeing Melissa over on your blog, Amber. So fun. :)

(Not Entering!)

Melanie Backus said...

Can't wait to read this one, sounds great! Thank you for a chance to be a winner.

melback at cebridge dot net

Andrea said...

Seen this book featured in a few places. Can't wait to read it! Happy "early" birthday!


Melody said...

Sounds like they have mucho issues to work out!

Happy Birthday Melissa!

missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

Amber Stokes said...

Thank you all for your entries and support of Melissa! :) Winner will be announced soon!