Pop Quiz ~ Melissa Tagg with a giveaway

Melisssa Tagg


Discover more about

Melissa Tagg

and her contemporary romance

Here to Stay

Bethany House


A favourite childhood book?

Well, I’m not sure how old I was when I first read Christy by Catherine Marshall—probably pretty young for that thick of a book. I was nerdy like that. But I read it over and over and over as a kid. I think it was the Appalachian setting that drew me in the most. And something about the book as a whole felt almost magical to me. Plus, even as a kid, I was highly aware of the awesomeness of Dr. MacNeill.

Do you remember the title of the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?

I don’t remember the very first story—though if I had to guess, I’d guess it was probably about pioneers. I was obsessed with pioneers. BUT my sister found an illustrated story my other siblings and I gave to her as a present one year. The story was called “The Real Princess” and um, it’s about a girl who discovers she’s a real princess. According to the book cover, I wMTstoryas the writer, my sister was the illustrator and my brother was “the presenter.” None of us can remember what being “the presenter” actually entailed. Haha!

If you weren’t a writer, what career would you/did you/do you have pursued?

Well, I’ve been a reporter in the past. I worked at a small-town newspaper and it’s amazing how many cool experiences I had. I got to fly a plane, ride in a hot air balloon, interview tons of presidential candidates, etc. And being in Iowa, the rural stories were especially entertaining. There was the time I walked into a shed only to find myself face to face with a buffalo; the time I did an interview in a barn with llamas and goats chewing on my shoes, my notebook, my shirt; the time I turned into a muddy mess (and ruined my favourite shoes!) all because a farmer wanted me to get a photo of this eagle he kept spotting in his cornfield. Good times, for sure. So if I wasn’t writing books, I’m pretty sure I’d be tempted to go back to reporting. OR…the idea of being a professional sleeper is ridiculously appealing.

Why do you write stories?

I love stories. I love them so much! :) I really think humans are wired to respond to stories. They change us. They make us think or challenge us or get us to ask questions we might not otherwise. They get us to feel things we might not otherwise. And so I can’t help wanting to tell them. That and I’ve got a rather wild imagination, so it was a pretty logical career path.

Here to StayHere to Stay

Blake Hunziker has played nomad for five years and landed in his fair share of trouble too. But now he’s finally returning to his hometown–the Lake Michigan tourist town of Whisper Shore. Counting on a not-so-warm welcome, he’s surprised at not only a positive reception but also a job offer. Determined to settle down and prove himself responsible, he agrees to the catch that comes with the job offer–coordinating the annual Christmas festival–even though he has no idea how he’ll pull it off. 

Autumn Kingsley, inn owner and experienced organizer of the Christmas festival, has always dreamed of traveling the world. Now she has a job opportunity in Paris and a surprise potential investor coming to town who just might take on her family’s inn and finally leave her free to go. The only problem is that she has just two weeks to whip the inn into shape.

Their families have a long history of not getting along, but when Blake comes to Autumn for help with the festival, she actually agrees…in exchange for his help with the repairs to her inn. They may have struck a simple deal, but complications are quick to pile on when the guy who’s had enough of running away and the woman who can’t wait to leave join forces.

Describe your novel in 5 adjectives


Witty (I really hope, anyway)

Relatable (again, I hope)

Rooted (in its storyworld, I mean)


Please share a little about one of your main characters 

Well, anybody who read my first book, Made to Last, may remember a character nicknamed “Blaze.” His real name is Blake Hunziker and in Here to Stay, Blake is going home to face his past. He’s been this nomadic adventurer for years now—travelled all over the world sky-diving, climbing mountains, hiking the Amazon. And basically it’s all been an attempt to forget a pretty horrific moment in his past. He’s finally ready to stop running…and so he goes home, lands a job coordinating his little tourist town’s biggest event of the year, and meets the girl who’s his opposite in pretty much every way. Blake is…in a word…awesome. And I realize I’m a little biased. But yeah, he’s quirky and funny and not afraid to do crazy things. Readers got a taste of that in Made to Last. But in Here to Stay, I really enjoyed exploring his deeper layers. He’s sensitive and he feels things deeply. He has a huge desire to be someone his family and community can be proud of, but he’s also kind of searching for his own dream. Honestly, he was a huge challenge to write…but I really love the guy.

What spiritual theme or question does your story deal with?

As I started writing Here to Stay, I thought it was a story about finding purpose and hope when life doesn’t go the way you envisioned. And that’s in there. But the more I got into the story, the more I realized this story is really about dreams—the dreams we have for ourselves and the dreams God has for us. At first glance, Blake and Autumn seem to have completely opposite dreams. One wants to discover home and find a place of belonging. The other wants travel and adventure. Too, Autumn finds herself in a quandary when the dream she’s always had collides with a new dream that’s just walked into her life. What does a person do when that happens? Which one do you choose? And what happens when sparks fly between a pair whose dreams couldn’t be more different?

Share a recent movie or tv show that you have loved, and why?FromTheStart_300rgb

I love this question! Most of the movies I watch are, oh, seventy or eighty years old. (Classic movie lover, yes.) So I’ll go with TV and the show that’s most blown me away recently is BBC’s Sherlock. I love it so much. It’s witty. The dialogue is fabulous. The mystery and plot are great. But it’s really the humor that most entices me. Well, that and Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s just soooo good.

What novel are you working on now?

I’m currently finishing my third book, titled From the Start. It releases from Bethany House in spring 2015. As soon as that’s finished, I’ll write a novella titled Three Little Words that will prelude From the Start. And then later this year, I’ll write my fourth book. Lots of writing happening in my world this year!

Thanks Melissa!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Made to Last Character Spotlight on Miranda & Matthew Watch Melissa’s Mad Minute and listen to our audio interview
Melissa’s Author Alert
Visit Melissa’s website
Buy from Amazon: Here to Stay or Koorong

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49 Responses to Pop Quiz ~ Melissa Tagg with a giveaway

  1. Melissa, love that your sister kept that story. And how clever of you all that you all collaborated on the one story. Do you think you could do that now?

    • Oh boy, I don’t know if we could all collaborate again. I mean, we all get along well and who knows, maybe we could pull it off. But I have a feeling back then, with me being the oldest, I just told the others what to do. I don’t think I could get away with being that bossy now. LOL!

  2. BC as Sherlock?
    voice – broodiness – image – language – English … coming to mind

    and every cont’d success to Melissa!

  3. Melissa Oldaker

    I would say the appeal of Sherlock is the witty dialogue along with storylines that keep your interest.

  4. Great interview.

    Quirky, witty, and rooted? Sounds like my kind of traits.

    I btw don’t like BC. I don’t get the appeal either.

    • You know, you are not alone in not caring for BC. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea. For me it’s the voice and how fabulously skilled he is at delivering awesome dialogue. Seriously, he talks soooo fast in Sherlock…it amazes me. It’s reminiscent of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. Plus, I’m a sucker for a deep voice and an accent. :)

      • I’m with you, Melissa ~ it’s the voice. He’s an odd looking fellow in many ways but I love that he is different. Was over pretty boys after I had Tom Cruise in Top Gun on the back of my high school diary – LOL!

        Benedict and Richard Armitage talking together….anyone say swoon?!

      • I feel ya on deep voices and good accents. 😉

        We were actually having a discussion on my blog about Colin Firth. He’s another that I don’t get, so I was asking my readers what it is about him. Wit, charm, and his accent have been my favorite answers. I like your point on deep voices.

  5. I haven’t seen Sherlock yet but plan to start from Season one this summer!

  6. Connie Saunders

    I have never seen Sherlock but I am also a classic movie buff. I love watching old, old movies! Thanks for this giveaway and best wishes.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I really want to read Here to Stay. I read Made to Last and was drawn to Blaze’s character. It will be great to see where he ends up.

  8. By the way, I never have seen Sherlock or watched BBC. I did used to watch the old Sherlock Holmes movies when I was a kid so maybe I’d like it. Might have to check it out once.

  9. I’m glad to see that there are Christian Romance books. :)

  10. I haven’t seen Sherlock but will have to see if I can find it.

    I loved Blaze in Made to Last and can’t wait to read the rest of his story!

    Thank you so much, Melissa!
    Stephanie C.

  11. I have to say I’ve never seen Sherlock! Can’t remember the last time I watched a TV show… :)

  12. I don’t know what it is about Benedict Cumberbatch. I’m not obsessed with him but he is a fantastic actor and a brilliant Sherlock!
    Great interview! I love Made to Last and Here to Stay and I cannot wait for Three Little Words and From the Start!

  13. I just read “Made to Last” and enjoyed it!

  14. Best part of this interview is finding a fellow classic movie fan. Is it wrong that it makes me like the author that much better?

  15. I haven’t watched Sherlock, but it sounds like I’m missing out. I have seen photos of Benedict Cumberbatch so I can see the appeal.

  16. I am also looking for new authors to try out and by reading her article/blog, I will be looking forward to reading some of her books. The covers of her books are really nice and will captivate and catch the readers eyes.
    I am entering this contest.

  17. I haven’t seen it either…I like movies and Christian fiction series in the 1800’s…..
    Best wishes to you and thax for this giveaway!

  18. I love everything about Cumberbatch and everything he brings to the new Sherlock.

  19. Christina Spicuzza

    I think that book is too cute! My brothers sister and I used it do the same thing when we were little, but I dint think anything lasted over the years!

  20. I have copies of books that my daughter wrote when she was young…then she was a journalist in smalltown Ohio for a year…wonder if she’ll ever write a novel? Your story was just so familiar to me. It will encourage her.

  21. Definitely the voice – in the ultimate scenario of the bible being read by a cast of my choosing (as discussed with my husband and sundry friends), Benedict Cumberbatch ranks up there with James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman for starring roles. Also, those cheekbones are a work of art.

  22. Not a fan of that Sherlock except for the guy who plays Eli Stone.

  23. I like the show Sherlock, but am not a huge fan of Benedict. He does pull off the role very well, however! Looking forward to the new season.

    Thanks for the giveaway. I do hope to open a “lending library”/coffee shop someday, so the more books I can get my hands on, the better. Bonus is that I get to read them first.


  24. I am a sucker for an accent, and a deep voice. My Hubby’s grandparents were from Scotland, he speaks Gaelic and 6 other languages. I worked at UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, and some of the U Mass students would speak Gaelic with him.

    We banter back and forth, I love a sharp whit, we are both suckers for funny love stories with a bit of twists and turns to keep it interesting.

    Thank You for this offering.

  25. Hi Melissa. I laughed and loved this interview. I especially loved the part of your reporter experiences. That sure made me laugh. And, being a professional sleeper. I am about to take that position. LOL I love to stay in bed real late. But I’m usually on my computer till wee hours of the morning. Note time on my comment. I sure need this book to go with my Made To Last book Hoping to be your winner. Thanks Rel for having Melissa here. Maxie Anderson

  26. That’s 2:11 am here in Texas Maxie

  27. I’ve got Here to Stay waiting for me to read it. I’ve already taken a look at the premise and it sounds enjoyable :-)

  28. I’m not familiar with Sherlock… so much on my DVR now that I can’t keep up with I can’t promise I will get a chance to check it out, but will keep it in mind!

  29. I’m a big fan of Melissa’s books and wish I didn’t have to wait so long for the next one! Those 5 adjectives were just right for ‘Here to Stay’. And alright, I’ll check out Sherlock. Can’t beat an elegant British male voice :)

  30. I haven’t read any of Melissa Tagg’s books yet, but I have heard of some of her books. I dream of being a journalist, so we Melissa and I have do have something in common :)

  31. I haven’t read any of Melissa Tagg’s books yet or have I watched Sherlock but I do LOVE Benedict Cumberbatch. He and Tom Hiddleston are so dreamy! I guess it is all in the accents :)

  32. I agree accents are what get me lol :)

  33. Ladies, just read an interesting article on BC wherein it mentions how fast he talks and not just on Sherlock. Seems it’s a trait that follows BC off screen. The article says you don’t want to have a conversation with him after he’s had caffeine!

  34. I’m sorry, but I haven’t watched Sherlock yet! I will have to give it a try. I have, however, read Melissa’s first book in the series, and I know who Blake is! I’m looking forward to the rest of his story.

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