Saturday, September 28, 2013

Made to Last RELEASE Party!!

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. 


Fun Fact #1 about Made to Last...

Melissa: In my earliest versions of the story, I had plans for Miranda's actual for
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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...

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I have no idea how to build a house. And I am so un-crafty it’s not even funny. I get really nervous about putting things together—like a new vacuum or a new desk. (Both of which I’ve done. Both of which I’ve, amazingly, survived…but not without moments of frustration!)

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.
And yet…
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!!


  1. So glad Blake/Blaze made it into the story! He's one of the absolute best parts and I can't imagine the book without him! And kudos to you, Melissa, on being able to write a story about something you know so little about! I definitely couldn't tell!
    Another great excerpt! I think I liked the one on Rel's blog a little more but I still vote that this one should have been in the book!
    And since I forgot to say it when I left my comment on Rel's blog....HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA!!!!! I hope it's a happy one!

  2. Even without reading the entire book this scene shows Melissa's gifted writing!

    AND an FYI.Over at Let's Talk Melissa is sharing how God led her on this fabulous journey, one of her clones is hanging out at this weekend. Enter this fun contest then hop on over, sit a spell and chat with Melissa. We'd love to have you!

    1. Thanks, Mary! Loved being a guest on your blog!!

  3. The more I read about this author and this book, I want even more to read this book

    1. Hope you enjoy it if you do get a chance to read it, Wilani. :)

  4. Happy birthday Melissa! Cute scene, but I am sure there are many more great ones in the book since this one did not make the cut. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. THanks, Melissa. It was funny re-reading this scene...soooo much changed between when I wrote it and the final book. :)

  5. Happy Birthday to Melissa! I've been seeing this all over the blogs and have to admit it has now caught my attention. I'm going to have to add it to my "want to read" list!

  6. Felicitous salutations on the anniversary of your birth! That was a fun scene - it definitely has snagged my curiosity!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. The deleted scene certainly makes me want to read the book! Hard to say without having read the book if it should have been left in or not...
    Happy Birthday Melissa!

  9. Happy Birthday, Melissa! I loved the deleted scene, even more reason to a want to read the book. If a scene this good was cut imagine what's left! I have been wanting to read your book since I first read about it. I wish you the best in your new career as a writer.

    Thank you for this great post and giveaway!

    Wanda Barefoot

  10. Happy Birthday!! I think you should keep the deleted scene. I loved it!! :)

    (signed in Amber M)

    1. You know, I do think there are tiny bits and pieces of this scene that made it into another scene if I'm remembering right...

  11. Happy Birthday. Definitely keep the scene. I loved it.

    1. Thanks, sadly didn't make the cut but it's fun to get a chance to share it. :)

  12. Happy Birthday, Melissa. This looks like a good book. The deleted scene is too cute. I vote leave it in.

  13. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really like the deleted scene. Can't wait to read the book!

  14. Pick me. Great blog, I will have to follow you now.

  15. Happy Birthday Melissa! Hope it's grand!!..Thank you for sharing.. Both deleted scenes made smile. I will definitely be reading your book now..;) ~ Juli

  16. Happy birthday, Melissa! So excited for you on your release! Wish you all the best!

  17. This book looks so fun! The deleted scene was cute :) Can't wait to read it!

  18. I like those scenes :) Happy birthday!

  19. Should have been keep in the story.

  20. Happy Birthday Melissa!

    Hmmm, I think that excerpt should have stayed in...

    Thanks for the giveaway, great prizes!

  21. I'm not sure about the scene, whether it should have stayed, or gone. Either way, from reading it, I am more curious than ever about the book. Looks like a good one. I could use a funny story. Ü

  22. Well, not as good as the deleted scene from the other blog, but still good. I think it helps that I've read the book. Knowing who the characters are makes a huge difference. Thanks for this contest. God bless.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. First, Happy Birthday Melissa! :) And second, I have heard great things about Made to Last and can't wait to read it :) I loved to deleted scene.

  25. Happy birthday Melissa!
    Thanks for the giveaway! I'm really excited to read Made To Last

  26. I'm so glad to hear Blaze gets his own book. I thought he was demanding one...

    1. And I like the peek at Blaze...but it's always hard to know what to cut. :-)

  27. Happy Birthday Melissa! Great scene but I think the right decision was made! Can't wait to read Made to Last!

  28. Happy Birthday, Melissa!! If this excerpt was deleted, we have an awesome book waiting for us to read. Thank you and may God bless you this year!!

  29. The deleted scene was good but overall I think the decision to cut it was the right one!

  30. Great comments - so much fun to join the party with you, Casey and Melissa! Hugs xo

  31. Since I haven't read the book yet, it's kind of hard to know if this scene should have been deleted or not. I don't know how it would fit with the rest of the story or if this is info we needed to know. It does make me want to read the book, though.
    Happy Birthday, Melissa!

  32. Happy Birthday!!! I'm very much looking forward to reading this book, but haven't had the chance yet. The scene was great and makes me more excited for the whole book! Since I haven't read it yet, though, I honestly don't know if I think it should have been kept or cut. I'll just trust you as the author! Thanks for the giveaways!!!

  33. Happy Birthday Melissa! Hope it's been a good one. Enjoyed reading this. I would like to enter the contest. Thanks Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  34. About the question. I liked the part that was deleted. but will probably be good anyway. Maxie

  35. I think the excerpt should have been kept. It had it's adorable and it's awkward moments. Looking forward to reading this book.
    Barbara Thompson

  36. I love this scene--it really makes me want to read the book now! And based on this excerpt, Melissa sounds like an excellent author. Happy Birthday Melissa!!

  37. Loving this scene!! I especially love how all their quirky character traits shine through. Happy Birthday, Melissa!

  38. Happy Birthday!
    Such a fun book! Just finished it yesterday! If Blaze gets his own book, what about Randi's best friend and her manager? We need to know what happens to them, too!

  39. Have a happy, happy, happy, dear Melissa!

    Don't know Melissa, but have read SO many wonderful things about, both she, & her book - in the last few weeks. Love her smile, enthusiasm, sense of adventure, & expressions of faith!

    Loved the deleted scene, & would love to read the book! Thanks, Melissa, & Casey, for the giveaway opportunity!


  40. In answer to your question, yes, I think this should've been cut -- because (from experience) cutting stuff out, no matter how painful, makes the story stronger! ;)

  41. Just in case there are spoilers, I don't want to read the deleted scene right now, but once I finish Made To Last I plan on reading it. :) Thanks for the giveaway!



Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

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According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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