When Melissa Tagg announced that she was releasing a title with Bethany House, I might have squealed.
I know exactly where I was when I read her blog post: sitting on a hotel bed in Guthrie, Oklahoma on my way to the 2012 ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas. My roommate didn't know who she was yet, but I said "just you wait. Melissa IS going to be someone in the Christian fiction world".
Hey, Melissa when that comes true do I get a percentage of your royalties?? ;-)
Anyway. I'm thrilled, THRILLED to be able to call Melissa "friend" AND share this giveaway party with Rel at Relz Reviewz. We've got a BASH planned for you!!
So enter! The
giveaway runs from September 28th thru September 30th
And hey! The reason TODAY is the party?? It's MELISSA'S BIRTHDAY!!
And have we got the prizes!
You can comment on this blog or Rel's blog to enter the contest and we're giving away:
FOUR copies of Made to Last...Melissa's DEBUT novel!
FOUR $10 Amazon Gift Cards (to buy a copy of Melissa's novel)!
TWO Bug's Beads Bracelets (winner's choice!)
REMEMBER, the party only lasts through the weekend!
Watch this post and Rel's for sneak peeks into Made to Last, deleted scenes and fun bet-you-didn't-know about Melissa's journey to writing and publishing this book.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY and NOVEL RELEASE, Melissa!!
Fun Fact #1 about Made to Last...
Melissa: In my earliest versions of the story, I had plans for Miranda's actual for
mer fiance to play her pretend
husband rather than the studio hiring someone to appear as her husband. But
this other fun character kept nibbling at the back of my mind—someone funny
(okay, crazy) who Miranda might have trouble keeping in line.
The more I pondered it, the more I realized adding this third guy in the story could be hilarious. So, Blake/Blaze was born. I pushed the fiance’s appearance in the story back a ways and gave the role of the pretend husband to Blake (And he gets his own book next! Here to Stay comes out May 1, 2014.)
Fun Fact #2 about Made to Last...
So the fact that I wrote a book about a homebuilding DIY guru…um, hilarious. To research, I watched a slew of HGTV shows (such a sacrifice, I know) and spent lots of time on the This Old House website. I called my dad several times when I had questions about this or that tool. And Google is one of my best friends. :-)
Want a peak at what the story USED to look like? Check out this deleted scene below...
The yell jerked Miranda from sleep, and she rolled from her bed. She hit the floor with an “oomph” and thud. Ouch. Quilt tangled around her legs, she yanked herself to her feet, kicking the blanket away and crossing the room in quick strides.
Why the shouting? Who…? And had she seriously just fallen out of her bed? Bring on the bruises.
Another yell accompanied her race down the stairs.
“What is it?” she huffed as she reached the bottom, feet thoroughly iced as they slicked over the hardwood. “What’s wrong?”
And then she saw them: Knox standing barely inside the house, screen door still flapping behind him, panting, pointing. And Blaze, bare torso sticking up from the sofa, dark hair poking all directions, sleepy grin.
“I…he…” Knox threw up his hands. “I walk into the house, assuming you’re both sleeping upstairs and suddenly I hear this voice from the couch.” He rubbed both palms down his unshaven jaw, then stuffed them in the pockets of his jeans.
“All I said was, ‘Morning, dude,’” Blaze said through a yawn, stretching his arms. Sinewy muscles threaded down his arms and back and Miranda felt the warmth spread over her cheeks.
Oh, crap, she couldn’t flush. What wife reddened over the sight of her husband shirtless after five years of marriage?
But the shock still oozing from poor Knox’s face was a pretty good sign he probably hadn’t noticed her blushing bride moment. “Knox, you going to recover?”
But when he turned his eyes on her, the crimson crept over her all over again as she realized what he saw. Hair a mass of dark tangles, pink polka-dotted pajama pants and oversized t-shirt hanging askew. “Huh, I didn’t take you for a pink girl.”
She hugged her eyes to herself and in her periphery saw Blaze stand. “My wife can pull off any color.” The words rolled lazily from his tongue ahead of another yawn.
“Um…honey.” She stretched out the word. “We have a houseguest, remember.” Eyes to his chest and then away again.
He caught her drift. “Right. Shirt. Coming right up.” He reached behind and pulled a tee over his head.
“I think I’m breathing again,” Knox offered, closing the door behind him. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you all. I was just thirsty and thought maybe I’d start some coffee brewing and…” He glanced back and forth between them. “But what was I thinking? This isn’t my house and I should go. I’ll come back later when you’ve had a chance to…dress.”
Oh, the salty taste of awkwardness. Miranda tightened her arms. “No, come on in. Go ahead to the kitchen. I’ll change and be down in a minute.”
She padded back upstairs, stifling her groan until she reached her bedroom. Bad enough her head pounded from rolling off her bed. But to race down the stairs looking like – she stopped in front of her full-length mirror – this? She wiped the sleep from her eyes, threaded her fingers through hair that would’ve raised Einstein’s eyebrows.
And oh yeah, between now and her return, she’d have to come up with an excuse for why her dear husband had spent the night on the couch. He snores? I snore? No, wouldn’t do for Knox to print that. Blaze stayed up too late watching TV and never made it up to bed. But that didn’t explain the bedding.
She pulled a fleece sweatshirt from the back of her closet – summer was definitely gone for good – and slipped into her favorite Levis.
Probably Matthew Knox considered theirs the oddest marriage this side of the Atlantic. If so, he had it right – all except for the actual marriage part.
Whatever he thought of her and Blaze, Knox had made a concentrated effort to reach out to her in the past two days, ever since she’d shared her worries about the show.
She wriggled a brush through her mass of dark curls.
He believes me. Even after helping her the other day had netted him a fall and a goose egg the size of her fist. He hadn’t been seriously hurt, but still, she regretted not insisting on shelving that box herself – especially after he had admitted his fear of ladders.
She watched her lips spread in the mirror now. A cloud of red had spread over his cheeks as he offered the sheepish confession. And then again, when he’d pulled himself up after falling from the ladder.
And yet, he wanted to help her. Placed enough stock in her concerns about the show to offer his investigative services. He’d already followed through on the offer, asking for a list of every suspicious incident from the past few months and quizzing her on who might possibly want to see From the Ground Up brought down.
Miranda descended the stairs a second time. Sunrise still caressed the morning, its pinks and oranges cascading through the lanky windows fronting the house. Blaze had folded his sheet and blankets on the couch.
She found the men huddled over bowls of cereal in the kitchen. “Good morning,” she said, lilting into the room as if nobody had seen anybody shirtless, rumpled or frightened only minutes ago.
The coffeepot chugged and moaned, the smell massaging her senses. She padded to the fridge and pulled the door open. Blinked. “Groceries! Someone…” She turned. “Blaze you got groceries?” Couldn’t have been Knox. True to his word, he’d shadowed her every move in the past 48 hours.
Blaze’s spoon clanked against his bowl. “Pantry’s stocked, too. And I filled the far right cupboard with your favorite.”
Her favorite? She flung open the cabinet. Pop-Tarts. Box after box of Pop-Tarts. He’d noticed? Observant man, her husband. Who knew? He’d pretty much made himself scarce these past few days.
The eager-to-please smile in Blaze’s eyes warmed her. His consideration, too. “Thanks.” And then, “Sweetheart.” She tried to keep the surprise from her voice. Knox should believe Blaze did things like this all the time – like any doting husband would.
Not that she’d know.
And for some reason a lump formed in her throat. She swallowed, blinked away tears that had picked the strangest time to well. Seriously, Pop-Tarts should not make a person cry.
What's your vote? Agree it should have been cut? Or kept in the story? ;-)
Wish Melissa a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and be sure and enter the giveaway above!!