Bookish Questions with Melissa Jagears

Melissa-Jagears-680x1024I think Melissa Jagears has inspired a new feature on my blog. Wanting to do something different, Melissa decided to answer some of my Bookish Questions of the Week for her feature here, celebrating the release of A Bride at Last (my review is coming soon!). I love it and I hope you do, too!


Bookish Questions


Melissa Jagears


I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!

I used to be a thumbs down all the way, baby. (Even though I don’t recall ever reading one….) Because how good could a short book be? But when I was asked to write one, I was game. (That’s what happens when someone offers to pay you to do so! :)) And so I read some. And you know, there are really good ones out there. They do seem to either be stellar or fall flat. But as a busy mom/writer, it’s nice being able to get the need to read fiction out of my system. Because I’m a binge reader, there’s no spacing novels out over weeks—only reading a scene or two every other day? That’s crazy. I gotta get to the end. And so novellas satisfy that need.

I can’t be the only person that after going without reading fiction for too long gets a bit depressed and needs some fiction to feel better.

Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?

Definitely a rereader. That longing to get lost in a good story is guaranteed if I already know it’s a good story. And since I read so much, if I haven’t read my keepers in over 5 years, it’s almost like new! And since I binge read the first time, I catch things the author put in that I didn’t see before. Rereading also helps to fix that depression feeling that comes when I don’t have much time to read. Since I know the end, I can put it down for a good amount of time and go feed my starving children.

The ones I’ve read so many times covers are falling off (so they’re back from when I started reading Christian Fiction) are Strieker’s Bride by Robin Hardy; Francine River’s A Voice in the Wind, Echo in the Darkness and Redeeming Love; Lori Wick’s Sean Donovan, The Princess, The Hawk and the Jewel, Wings of the Morning, and Who Brings Forth the Wind; and Linda Chaikin’s Heart of India Series.

When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?

Pfft. I can read any time. And when you’re a binge reader, you have to read at any time, how else are you going to race to the end? I’ll even walk and read at the same time like Ichabod Crane does in the cartoon, skip meals, skip sleep…

Oh my! I just rewatched the Ichabod Crane song that I only saw once in childhood, be still my heart, that was Bing Crosby! I must buy the movie now…

A Bride at LastA Bride at Last

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony–until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?

I’m a very cliquish reader, I love my genres and I love my favorite authors, I have to force myself to go look for other authors. But now that I write, if the quality of writing is subpar, I don’t have the patience for it anymore.

Which factors most influence your selection of a book?

Genre and Blurb but ultimately the writing craft of the first page or two determines whether I’ll continue. As I said above, I don’t have the patience for poor execution or slow starts anymore. If I finish a book, even if I give it a 3 star rating, that means those books were good because I didn’t put them down!

What is your fiction pet peeve?

When I finish what’s marketed as a Christian Romance and the hero and heroine do declare their love for each other at the end, maybe even share a one line kiss….but if the author hadn’t told me they were in love I would never have guessed! Drives me crazy. A romance is supposed to be a romantic emotional ride, that’s what I want when I pick one up!

What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?

My biggest “ignore everything to read” book this year was With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden. Loved the hero (who’s personality was much like mine and I don’t see that often) and the story structure was great.

Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?

Lori Benton’s Burning Sky. Oh my goodness, I wanted to quit writing after seeing how she could just come out of the gate that good.

Thanks Melissa!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Interview with Melissa
Review of A Bride to Keep
Character spotlight on Everett & Julia
Melissa’s Author Alert
Visit Melissa’s website
Download Melissa’s free novella, Love by the Letter, from Amazon
Buy at Amazon: A Bride at Last or Koorong

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42 Responses to Bookish Questions with Melissa Jagears

  1. Since I love to read, it’s hard for me to put ANY book down :-) The last series I read and really didn’t want to end, is Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series. Each book kept me up late at night (there are 5 all told).
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of “Bride at Last”. I’ve read so many good blogs and reviews of this one! Sounds like a “don’t want to miss” book!

  2. There have been quite a few books that have been hard for me to put down. One of the recent ones was Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson. I really enjoyed Melissa’s previous books so I’m looking forward to reading A Bride at Last. It would be such fun to win a copy! Thanks for the chance and for the interview with Melissa.

  3. I am currently reading Kristy Cambron’s THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN. It is excellent. Thank you for the wonderful interview with Melissa. I am so excited for the release of A Bride at Last.

  4. Andrea Stephens

    I was happy to receive an advance copy of A Bride at Last, I highly recommend it! The day the book came in the mail was a day that I had to drive 300 miles. I was so excited I sat and read the first few chapters, then had to put the book in my suitcase and head out. It was so hard driving all that way knowing a great story was right behind my seat. Thankfully my mom and sister understand. They were anxious for me to finish so they could read it too!
    The story of Silas, Kate and Anthony is sad, suspenseful, happy, and filled with love.
    I laughed out loud at what Silas says about the bit of auburn in Kate’s hair.
    Melissa writes complex, intriguing characters. It was nice to see some of the people from the previous books in the series but you can read this as a stand alone if you haven’t read the other books. My sister and mom loved the series as much as I did!

    • Oh man I know how it is to have to do something else when you’re in the middle of a good book. It stinks! Glad you got to finish and enjoyed it!

  5. Oh tough question since I’ve read many race-to-the-end books this year. My top three choices would have to be Sway by Amy Matayo (I didn’t get to read it till 2015), Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren and the Porter series by Becky Wade.

  6. Since I read over 500 books a year, I have a hard time putting any book down. They are always filled with intrigue, action, romance, suspense and takes me on a journey to places I have never been. I have never met a book I didn’t like. Thanks for the chance in get a book to get lost in.

  7. I found several books hard to put down but since you want me to pick one it is, To Win Her Favor, book 2 in the Belle Meade series by Tamera Alexander. Although I am looking forward to reading BRIDE AT LAST!

  8. I’ve just finished reading Charles Martin’s “Unwritten”. Oh. My. A must read. A cannot-put-it-down kind of book. Charles always does that to me. And tears. Lots of tears. Charles always does that to me too!

  9. There have been several books that I was unable to put down. A few of those were,
    A Sparrow in Terezin, Short Straw Bride, and A Candle in the Darkness.

  10. I love to read, and have thousands of TBR on my bookshelves and kindle, but have very limited time to read…maybe a half hour before bed. Even with all the books I own, I have been ordering the Annie’s Attic mysteries from the library regularly. I discovered this series last year, and there are 30+ books in the series written by a handful of authors. They are difficult for me to read, and I usually bypass any book not available in large type, but even with the smallish print, I keep reading them!

  11. This year, I couldn’t put down A Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton. It was so good!

    I’ve enjoyed all of Melissa’s mail order bride series! This one is the only one I haven’t read yet.

  12. I have been reading Jen Turano’s latest series this month, A Class of Their Own, and have sat for hours reading them. :)

  13. Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart

  14. I have read quite a few good ones lately! Love Unexpected was very good. I also just read The Button Legacy, which was a full novel, but filled with smaller stories within the book. It was nice to be able to put it down between them, you know- so I can sleep and feed the kids- but the book as a whole was fantastic!

  15. Its a toss up between A LOVE LIKE OURS by Becky Wade or EVERY BRIDE NEEDS A GROOM by Janice Thompson.

  16. I read a lot and there have been so many great books this year. But the one I have loved the most and couldn’t put down was For Such a Time by Kate Breslin. I literally started re-reading it for a second time immediately after I finished the book. It definitely moved into my top 10 favorite books of all time.

  17. Terrill Rosado

    There are many books I get so involved in that I lose sleep and suffer from book hangover the next day. One of those books was Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. It took a few chapters (or letters) for me to feel like it was a book I was going to enjoy. Then it grabbed onto me and wouldn’t let go until it was over. After finishing, I immediately read the last 10 pages again and did that for the next couple of nights. I’m really looking forward to Katherine Reay’s book, The Bronte’ Plot, later this year.

  18. Melissa, I enjoyed reading your answers to all the Bookish Questions and it would seem we have a lot in common. The Heart of India Series is at the very top of my favorites lists, as well as many of the other books you listed. I couldn’t even count the times I have reread those books!

    As for a book I couldn’t put down…I would have to say Courting Morrow Little. If you haven’t read it yet, do so! This is the first year I have read anything by Laura Frantz and was very impressed.

    Thanks for the chance to win A Bride at Last, I am looking forward to it.

  19. Sonnetta Jones

    One Season of Hope by Jim Stovall is book that I did not want to end. It was such a hope filled book. I love it when I am still thinking about a book long after it is over.
    When I read Francine Rivers a Voice in the Wind and the others in the series I remember getting mad at people because they kept interrupting me to talk or hang out.

  20. Maxie Anderson

    Hello Melissa. I’m with you on that 1 1/2 book average. Can’t even imagine reading that fast. I don’t feel like I read slow but takes me a long time for a noel. I think this book of yours will be real good. As to the question i have read many good ones so hard. But, I am always happy with books by Beverly Lewis.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  21. I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately but when I do I have a hard time putting down anything by Karen Witemeyer, Elizabeth Camden, or Melissa Tagg. I love how easy it is to escape into their books and I have a hard time coming out of them. :)

  22. So many books I’ve read this year have been hard to put down, and all for very different reason! Here they all are: A Match Made in Texas, Mist of Midnight, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store, The Hesitant Heiress, A Table By the Window, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, Blind Trust, Shenandoah Crossings, and Full Steam Ahead.

  23. I just finished Irish Meadows. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. Was thrilled to hear it will be a trilogy :)

  24. Cynthia St. Germain

    I just read The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig & The Lost Heiress by Roseanna B. White

  25. Like you, I’ve read many books over & over–including the Streiker Kildeer series & all of Lori Wick’s books. I was happy to discover your books as I greatly enjoyed A Bride for Keeps & A Bride in store & am looking forward to reading your next books! Keep writing!

  26. The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham and books by Dawn Crandall!

  27. Unfortunately, I haven’t done a lot of reading this year, though I cannot get enough of my Bible. I have read the first two books in this series and loved them. Would love to win this third book.

  28. I am an avid reader. I hate have to put down any book. Especially when they are so well written.

  29. The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall. It is the most recent book I couldn’t put down. I did read two by Laura Frantz that were amazing too!

  30. MaryLu Tyndall’s – Escape to Paradise, a Trilogy. 960 pages I couldn’t put down :)

  31. Have not had much reading time lately but there are a lot out there to read.

  32. “Taken” by Dee Henderson

  33. The Butterfly & the Violin. It was amazing!

  34. I really enjoyed Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. It was a very good read. Thank you for this giveaway!

  35. Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg was wonderful.

  36. Melissa, i also read many books so hard to choose but a few were A Beauty So Rare; Double Cross; Gabriel’s Atonement ; A Bride In Store.
    looking forward to reading A Bride At Last soon !

  37. Jennifer Bretsch

    Such a great interview! Thanks for the fun questions. Some of Melissa’s rereads are mine as well, particularly the ones by Francine Rivers.

    I’ve read quite a few great books this summer. One in particular that I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish was “The Gifting” by K.E. Ganshert.

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