Discover Melissa Jagears…with a giveaway

I’ve refreshed my author interview posts – thanks to the lovely Dorothy Adamek for the inspiration – I hope you enjoy the new style and questions. Any feedback is always appreciated as I want to provide entertaining and helpful content to my readers.

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Melissa JagearsDiscover more about

Melissa Jagears

and her historical romance

A Bride in Store

Bethany House

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A book character that sticks in my mind is…Hadassah from A Voice in the Wind…just this last Sunday while the pastor was talking about how being a Christian was choosing to be a Slave, and yet hardly any of us act like it, I was trying to envision myself emotionally as a slave and she came to mind. Hadassah is probably the fictional heroine I admire most.

The last book that made me cry was…I think it was A Noble Groom.

The last book that made me laugh out loud was…Goodness, it takes a lot to get me to laugh out loud, if you get a smile out of me you’re doing good. I went to my Goodreads list, maybe The Governess and Mr. Granville? Abby Gaines’s books are light-hearted and fun. I bet Dear Mr. Knightley got a lot of smiles out of me being the English teacher that I am.

I’m completely immersed in their storytelling, whenever I read a book by…Deeanne Gist. I had to read Maid to Match all the way through first and then go back and try to figure out how she wrote the story so effortlessly.

The first person who encouraged me to pursue my writing was…My husband. But strangely, I didn’t have anybody who thought it was a bad idea when I told them about my writing. I must have “Writer” stamped on my forehead—hadn’t noticed the mark until I turned 29, I guess.

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…Less busy? J One day, when no one wants my books anymore, I hope to quietly transition into editor. I wanted to be that in elementary school but knew I’d never want to live in a big city, so I decided on teacher instead. If I had foreseen the internet, I probably would have pursued that editing career.

I write stories because…Who else is going to put my ideas onto paper? I want to read them myself! And to practice emoting. I’m not really an emotional person, so I read for the vicarious emotional experience. I’ve joked that I figured I needed to up my emotional therapy and create emotions instead of just read about them.

A Bride in StoreA Bride in Store

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn’t even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel’s business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend’s mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store–where she quickly proves she’s much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams–or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives…Yikes, I don’t ever know how to answer this kind of question. Let me go look through notes from first readers and find some….engaging, interesting, beautiful, compelling, fresh

My main character is…Will Stanton. He has blue green eyes and thick brown hair that he musses all the time. He has trouble saying no and truly cares for people. His biggest fear is that he’ll make a medical mistake and so he plays with a ring his little sister made him that has a little happy face on it. When he does well with a patient, he’ll wear it right, but when he does poorly, he’ll hide the smiley face bead by turning it inward.

Eliza Cantrell has boring brown hair and a long face and big brown eyes. She isn’t particularly beautiful and doesn’t really care about her appearance anyway, she’d rather you not even see her physically, just see her as a capable, hard worker.

My main characters resemble….Will, in my mind, is Bill Pullman (when he was young and had that floppy hair!) and Eliza is Frances Dee.

My story’s spiritual theme is…My Series theme for this one was “Intimacy with God and man cannot be had without trusting them to help you succeed in your present.” But the book seemed to explore more about selfishness versus selflessness. And turned more into this: Looking for success apart from God and at the expense of others leads to empty success; Looking to God to help you succeed in what is truly important and not trampling others to get it leads to fulfilling success.

The most recent movie or tv show I loved was…Um, I don’t have TV. Not sure how I got anything done years ago when I had it. I did watch the first season of Sherlock on the computer months ago when my husband told me he’d never watched a show where the character was so much like me. It was excellent programming. One day I’ll have enough down time to watch the other seasons…

The story I’m currently working on is…Goodness, I’m like smack in between stories. I’ll soon be in edit land for A Bride at Last which follows A Bride in Store. And I’m working on a proposal for some novellas and another series, but I haven’t started a one of them.

You may not know this about me, but I…tell all my secrets online, I’m not sure what I haven’t told! I’m a big pre-planner. When I was fifteen, I think, my requests for Christmas presents changed to things like a Crockpot and a rocking chair, and every Christmas after that I made similar requests (besides for books, of course). I was starting to amass things for when I moved out on my own. My grandmother couldn’t stand the practicality and bought me something frivolous anyway. Before I pentatonixhad kids, if I saw extraordinary deals on maternity clothes or childrens’ clothes I’d buy them and keep them sorted in boxes for one day.

I might go all fan girl if I met…Pentatonix

If I could travel back in time, I’d go to…High school and take care of all of my regrets.

I get lost in the music when I listen to…I’m not a huge music person, so I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten lost in it. Maybe the Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack for the Kiera Knightley version?

A long held dream of mine is…To run a self-sufficient subsistence farm…..but I’m going to need a fairy godmother to give me a green thumb before that ever becomes reality….

Thanks Melissa!

Relz Reviewz Extras
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 in Store or Koorong

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73 Responses to Discover Melissa Jagears…with a giveaway

  1. That’s the perfect picture of Bill Pullman for Will! Great choice. Thanks for hosting me Rel! I’ll be back.

  2. I honestly don’t know what exactly it is that makes me love mail order bride and marriage of convenience stories so much! I just always have! Maybe it’s the way that it’s less of a will they won’t they situation and more of a figuring out how to make it work thing! Mail order bride ones are kind of interesting because they are committing to marry someone they know nothing about and it’s cool to watch their stories progress! This probably makes no sense but hey I love this story line and that’s all that matters!

  3. I enjoy mail order bride stories because it’s fascinating how desperate times call for desperate measures, and the characters have the opportunity to make the best of an unusual situation.

    • I definitely think the desperation of a mail order bride is the stuff stories are made of, because that’s rife with conflict and motivation. All you would have to do is say “My great-grandma was a mail order bride” and I’d immediately want to hear her story!

    • I can hardly imagine marrying someone I didn’t really know anything about – at least with not any certainty. Letters can only convey so much and it doesn’t mean it is truthful, right?!

  4. I love mail order bride books because I love seeing the caractures fall into place and I also love having a emagination that it would be me in the stories
    Just having an emagination is fun.
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

  5. I just enjoyed Melissa’s version of the mail order bride story… which is really all I can say about the genre since I rarely read it nowadays although I did enjoy Lori Copeland’s series way back when. :)

  6. You just never know how the story line will go. Will they fall in love or will it the the worse match ever! Would enjoy reading this one :)

  7. I think it’s the suspense of the situation. And imagining myself doing such a thing….scary. What is you got a greasy, disgusting guy? You are stuck! But it’s fun to read about!

  8. OMG OMG OMG I want to win this. I loved the first two (book 1 plus the novella) and can’t wait to read this one.

    What appeals to me about Mail Order Brides? The fear of not knowing, the endless possibilities, the falling in love with someone that you may not have chosen for yourself otherwise.

    Great contest doll.
    Thank you.

  9. Mail order bride stories are adventurous, it must have taken women with great courage to take a chance on an unknown groom. Of course, I always hope for a great romance to bloom also!

  10. Kathy Heare Watts

    Mail Order Bride stories are by far my favorite genre of reading. I am so fascinated with these brave women, who for one reason or another decided that marriage would not work where they lived. It could be a lost beau during the civil war, devastation of the family home and income, something that maybe in their town gave them a tarnished name. But to advertise yourself and have a stranger write you and make an offer of marriage and accept. In reality, these women traveled by train and stage to a wild west rugged setting, nothing like living in the East, and had no idea what that man really would be like. Would he be good to her or would he be cruel.
    LOL, now we have strangers meeting on social media and getting together.

  11. I admit I hadn’t read mail order bride books until Melissa’s first book came out. (She’s my friend and I want to read her work, of course!) She did such a great job with the first one that I’d love to read this new one, too. Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. The uncertainty of it all makes for a good story!

  13. I just finished “A Bride to Keep” and LOVED it!! I look forward to reading “A Bride in Store.”

  14. I did the same thing, Melissa! Only I think I started when I was about 12 and wanted a fancy Victorian-looking bedspread and stained-glass lamp for my birthday. After that, I slowly amassed practical items and hid them away in my closet, secretly telling myself (I was embarrassed for my family to know) that it was my “hope chest” for when I got married someday. :)

    I like mail-order bride stories because I enjoy the awkward situations between the couple as the come to fall in love (or fall in love with the wrong person). I’m also a big believer in “choosing” to love the one we marry so stories that touch on that are fun, too.

    • Sparksofember, sounds like we’re a lot alike. My closet was stuffed with furniture rather than clothes for when I left the house!

      And I LOVE awkward situations, I hope I write tons of them! :) And choosing to love is a big thing. I think that’s part of the hope of a mail order bride story. Then, without divorce being so easy, you chose to love or at least get along. If they could do that with perfect strangers, then everyone who choses their loves nowadays should have an even better chance at that happily ever after!

    • “Choosing to love” – yep, that is essential throughout a long marriage regardless of the romance at the beginning, Sparksofember.

  15. I love how “real” you are. And I so respect that you don’t have a TV!
    This was a fun interview. :)

    • You know, I’ve been getting that “you’re so real” comment online here lately…..I think that means I blabber too much…..I only do that online though, watch me clam up if you ever physically get near me. It’s a curse.

  16. The bravery of the girls who become mail order brides. It takes a lot of courage to move across the country to marry someone you have never met.

  17. Very enjoyable interview. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t watch television. There are so many things that I prefer to do with my time.
    Congratulations on your latest book, A Bride in Store. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

    • Cindi, I can’t imagine getting anything done with TV anymore. How on Earth did I use to watch that thing and get anything done??? Probably had something to do with having no kids back then……

  18. Because it is something I would never consider doing and I enjoy reading about the situation and outcome that different authors come up with.

  19. I think what appeals to me about mail order bride stories is finding out why the woman was so desperate that she’d be willing to travel such a distance to marry a man she hadn’t met. It just also makes a good story!

    • Desperation is a great catalyst for a story! I wonder how many real mail-order brides weren’t desperate? I wonder if any of them just plain thought it was fun? Like an adrenaline junky…..

  20. Thanks Relz for this interview with Melissa. I would love to have this book. Thanks for this good interview. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  21. Great interview Rel… I can’t believe I inspired you to do what you already do so brilliantly!! :)

    I read and loved Love By The Letter just this weekend, between writing conference breaks. Great story and I am so keen for more, now. Thanks, Melissa. :)

    Plus, if I might add, I am a huge Pentatonix fangirl, too. Chills. :)

  22. I think the sense of adventure and the courage a woman must have had to become a mail order bride is what makes me like the fictional accounts. Can you imagine traveling across the country to meet some man you’d never known?

  23. I like to read about the surprises that the characters sometimes get when they meet face to face. I also like to put myself into the place of the women and most of the time think I am not as brave as they were!

  24. Mail Order Bride novels have always appealed to me. I’m not really sure why, but when the book description includes those three little words, MOB, I’m always drawn to the book.

  25. Oh, I cannot wait to read this book. It sounds excellent. Thank you for making a normal heroine who isn’t supposed to be beautiful. Most of us aren’t, so it seems more realistic. Oh, I love seeing your Pinterest pictures for this book. They’re so fascinating.

    • Oops! I commented without realizing there was a specific question I was to answer. What do I like about mail-order bride stories? Well, if the couple marries right away then you get a whole book for the couple to get to know one another and “court”. They can cross boundaries intimately, but it won’t be wrong because they are married. I think it’s also neat that they initially get to know one another through letters. The couple doesn’t instantly fall for one another when they meet too.

      • Sylvia, I think that’s probably a big draw of MOB and Marriage of Convenience, they can “go too far” upping the awkward but be totally within their rights, plus they get to have a ton of alone time together, and in historicals, it gets around the chaperone thing :) Makes it easier for a more intimate romance in the Christian genre.

    • I definitely want normal heroines most of the time while writing/reading, Julia in A Bride for Keeps was beautiful for the storyline, so she sorta forced my hand there. :) but I’d rather most of my heroines to be “average” because I think that ups the romantic qualities of the hero, he doesn’t need beauty to catch his eye, he loves her heart.

  26. The bravery of the Mail order bride interests me, entering the unknown and dealing with whatever comes her way. And finding out if she actually ends up with the original intended groom!
    Great interview Rel and Melissa – thankyou both!

  27. I like mail order bride stories because the main characters don’t know each other. We get to see their story and how they fall in love. Also, they might not have chosen that person if it was a different situation. So, it’s cool to see how God brings a man and woman together who may be completely different, but they fall in love and have a great story.

  28. I already commented, but thought of something else. I’m ready for a mail-order bride story where the heroine isn’t desperate. She’s just tired of being single and wants to find love and get married. :)

    • Great thought Sylvia, Eliza in this one isn’t desperate, her goal is a store. Desperation is such a great plot conflict though, but a tired of being single gal could be really fun to write….I’ll put that in my story idea box. :)

  29. I like that a woman and man will promise a lifetime together, knowing they would need each other. I like watching how they fall in love. The commitment comes first, completely opposite these days.

  30. I love the idea of marrying a stranger and having to get to know them in an unusual way.

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