Welcome to Melony Teague, author of A Promise to Keep!

What is the first line in your novel? Describe how you decided to start your book with it.

Only a promise to a dying man would make her attend her twenty-year high school reunion.

As you might have guessed from the title, A Promise to Keep, promises have a big part to play in this story so it was only fitting to start with the promise that started it all for Savannah Sanderson. One that would end up changing everything for her. 


Please describe your writing environment. 

My desk is tucked away in a corner of our living room so sometimes it can be a challenge to write when everyone is home. We don’t have a large house, so the livingroom is where we all tend to gather. Thank goodness for headphones. 


What main genre do you write in?

I write Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor.


Do you write full time? 

Yes, I am a freelance writer and I do communications for clients, and some editing and coaching on the side. My fiction writing fills up the rest of my time. 


Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know what you’d call my writing style exactly, but I like to include humour in my writing, mostly just because I laugh a lot and see the funny side of life on a day-to-day basis anyway. However, that is delicately balanced by deep and meaningful writing too. 


Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet? One day I’d LOVE to write a YA dystopian or fantasy novel, but it seems like a dream that is far, far away. 


Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?

I found my critique partners on the ACFW critique loop and I love them to bits. A Promise to Keep would not be a reality without them. They were encouraging and honest and I’ve grown to respect and admire each of them and their work. 


Do deadlines help or hinder your muse? 

They don’t affect my muse as much as my time management. When I have a deadline, I have something to work towards and that motivates me. There’s nothing like the adrenalin of that panic you get when the deadline looms to get you into gear. But, I’ve learned over the years not to rely on that and get going on a project earlier, rather than later. 


What was your first published work and when was it published?

My first published book was written with my writer’s group and we had a heart to encourage and inspire writers, so we wrote a devotional for writers which includes writing prompts. It was published by Judson Press in 2016, and it’s called, As the Ink Flows, Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers. 


How can readers find out more about you and your books?

They can find me online here, I love to hear from readers. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | BookBub | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

About the Book: 

Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.

Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.

Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?


About the Author: 

Melony Teague is a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell.  As co-author of As the Ink Flows, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words. She writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor, her debut A Promise to Keep released in Jan, 2020. Teague us a member of ACFW. She has never met a Starbucks she didn’t love and has been known to eat vegetables for breakfast—well, pumpkin pie—same thing. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her husband, their two teenagers, and two cats.

Buy Links: 

BUY THE BOOK FROM ANAIAH PRESS

ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

BUY ON AMAZON (e-book) 

BUY ON AMAZON (Paperback)

BUY ON AMAZON.CA

BUY ON AMAZON.AU

BUY ON INDIGO.CA

BOOK DEPOSITORY

BARNES & NOBLE

Carol Underhill, author of Angelica’s Christmas Wish, Shares Her Inspiration!

 Idea and Inspiration Behind Decorating Cookies Scene

Since decorating cookies was a tradition in my family, I decided to include it in Angelica’s Christmas Wish. My mom would roll out and cut the dough. My sisters and I decorated them with sprinkles, colored sugar and tiny silver beads. We made gingerbread men, reindeer, Santas and bells. I still remember the tin cookie cutters Mom used.

When my sisters and I had children of our own, we shared the tradition with them. After our kids were grown and Mom was gone, my sisters and I got together for a few years and baked all kinds of Christmas cookies and candy.

In my novella, I include a cookie-baking scene. After Angelica’s mother passed away, her father, the hero in the story, steps in and decorates cookies with his daughter and her grandmother. Since they have an unexpected guest for Christmas, they invite her to share in the fun.

***

A tabletop covered with baked sugar cookies greeted Mark when he walked into the kitchen, but the sight and sounds of the three females melted his heart. Angelica wore her child-sized apron, she had flour on her cheek, and her hair was up in a high ponytail. His mother-in-law—a standard figure in his life for the past ten years—wore her Christmas apron, her hair in a bun.

He had to admit, though, that neither of them set his heart racing like the sight of their unknown guest. She wore a white apron with a ruffle, and her hair was pulled up in a high ponytail like Angelica’s. He wondered whether she had done his daughter’s hair or whether Geneva had tried something new. Undoubtedly, it was their guest. She had flour on her cheek, also, and he wanted nothing more than to wipe it away with his thumb and feel the soft skin underneath. 

They all looked at him, three smiles of greeting. He couldn’t help but grin. “Looks like I’m in time to help decorate the cookies.” 

“Wash your hands first,” Angelica said in her little bossy manner. 

“Of course.” There wasn’t a lot of space to get past their guest, and their shoulders brushed. He stifled the urge to put his arm around her waist and stand close. He could smell the light scent of shampoo. Thankfully, it was not the kind of shampoo Lily used. Geneva had listened to his request to wipe that trace of Lily from his life and switched shampoos and soaps to a scent that didn’t remind him of Lily. 

He washed his hands, and soon, he was absorbed in icing and decorating reindeer, Christmas trees, bells, and snowmen.

Author Christina Sinisi Visits!

I am so happy to have fellow Anaiah Christmas author with us today! Let’s meet Christina Sinisi and learn more about her new book, Christmas Confusion.

Hi, Christina! Welcome!

First, what sparked your interest in becoming a writer?

First, I want to thank you so much, Melinda, for hosting me. I truly appreciate you!

I have always wanted to be a writer, almost literally as soon as I could write. In my Virginia farm community, there was no kindergarten. So, I learned the alphabet and how to write in first grade. By third grade, I was writing poetry and by fifth grade, I wrote my first play. I was and still am an avid reader and simply am in love with the world of story.

What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?

In high school, I would stay with my Grandma Zimmerman for a month or so in the summers. She herself had only an eighth grade education, but there were books in a back bedroom. I found one by Victoria Holt, The Mistress of Mellyn. The combination of murder mystery and romance haunts me to this day. I still like there to be a story within a story.

I love that your Grandma had romantic suspense! 

What is your favorite scene in your new release?

Surprisingly, the epilogue is my favorite scene. It was an add-on at the suggestion of my editor, Kara Leigh Miller. I won’t give away the content because I don’t want to spoil it for the reader, but I will say I get teary-eyed every time I edit it. There is a raw need for the Lord on the part of the hero that strikes a chord with me. We all have worries and fears, and then there’s the joy when God brings us out on the other side of our fear.

Oh, I can’t wait to read the epilogue! I always enjoy seeing the couple in their happily ever after. 

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

A few years ago, I saw Nora Roberts speak at a Romance Writers of America meeting. She said simply, get your butt in the chair. Treat writing as a job. Just show up.  That advice has gotten me through the many years of waiting for something to happen.  Many, many people have also stated that you write because you can’t not write. If you can do anything else, do it. If you love writing, so I’ll write no matter what–which is a good thing in this tough world of sales and competition for people’s attention.

And what about the worst writing advice you’ve ever received?

This isn’t writing advice per se, but life advice. I’ve had many, many other people state that they didn’t understand how I kept writing. They would have given up long ago. My thought was what else was I going to do? Make candles? Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with making candles, but I’m passionate about writing and when something’s your passion, you don’t give up.

I totally get it! I think most of us writers get to a point of wanting to give up. Giving up is the easy part. Continuing with a difficulty is what makes the difference.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My family is supportive. My husband is a history professor and has published several academic books. My son is a hopeful writer as well and posts fanfiction on Reddit that is very good. My daughter can write, but art is more her thing. At the same time, she was the first to post on Facebook when The Christmas Confusion came out saying how proud she is of me. Further, my church family has been incredibly supportive–the church book club is reading my book in December and they featured the cover in the monthly newsletter. Oh, and do they read my books? Do they have a choice? 😉

Thank you again, Melinda, and I hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed Christmas!!

Thank you, Christina! Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!


Readers, Christina’s book, Christmas Confusion, can be found at the link

behind the book image. I hope you pick up a copy and enjoy the season!

Blessings,

Melinda

Welcome Delaina Netherland Smiley, author of One More Santa!

I’m happy to have fellow Anaiah Press and Texan author with me today to talk about her new Christmas novella, One More Santa!

What was your favorite scene in your book?

I really enjoyed writing the scene where Talent, Cassie, and Ruby created the Christmas rainbow with their bows and arrows. My son is a competitive archer and I, being his #1 fan, enjoyed using his expertise in my writing. Plus, it was something I haven’t read before so I loved getting to be creative.

Best writing advice you ever received:

“Don’t wait until it’s perfect, or even published to share your writing with the people you love.” That advice came from my late friend, Monica Barter, and I wish I had heeded it much sooner. My close friends and family were my catalyst to putting content out in the world and I’m so grateful.

Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

I usually have an idea for the main character, but the rest of the cast and crew develop around that person. I did have a head start on “One More Santa”, though, because I wanted to use the names of my grandmother and her three sisters: Rosemary (my grandmother), Cassie, Betty, and Brenda. That made it easy because the characters suddenly took on a life of their own once named. 

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

I think they love it. They have been so supportive through both the writing process and then the final products. They share everything and talk about the books when they’re out and about. I’m grateful they are so supportive!


Welcome Laura Nelson Selinsky, author of Season of Hope!

I’m so happy to have fellow Anaiah author visiting today. Her Christmas novella, Season of Hope, released last week, and you don’t want to miss it!

What sparked your interest in becoming a writer? I’ve been a passionate reader since I was a little girl, I studied and teach literature, and my husband, children and their partners are all academic writers…writing was inevitable for me. That I write fiction is the plot twist.

What is your favorite scene in your new release? My favorite scene in Season of Hope is when *Nick rescues Grace from the icy fire escape, endearing himself to the protagonist Claudia, who is Grace’s half-sister. The idea of that little girl falling thirty feet frightens me when I read it, and I’m the one who imagined it.

*Yes, I wrote a Christmas novel in which I deliberately names a character “Nick.” Feel free to chuckle.

Best Writing Advice You’ve Ever Received– “Write what you know.” Season of Hope is set in a community I know well and love. I could see every inch of the setting from the moment I began writing.

Worst Writing Advice You’ve Ever Received “Write what you know.” The first piece I published was a Lovecraftian horror piece that illustrated a theological concept. Trust me when I say that I didn’t know that world and I hope I never will. So many of the best literary worlds come from imagination. We’d be pretty bored if my heroes Tolkien and C.S. Lewis limited themselves to writing about post-war Oxford.

Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? This is not exactly an object, but Marie, a secondary character in Season of Hope, is a fabulous cook. I loved writing her food masterpieces; I even composed recipes for them.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books? My family has been emotionally and financially supportive. Most important, my husband has helped me find the time for writing; not easy when I have a more-than-full-time job teaching students with significant learning differences. My children and nieces have beta-read my fantasy novels—Season of Hope is the first long piece that none of them read until it published.

Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you? For ten years, I’ve belonged to a wonderful critique group under aegis of Pennwriters. It’s an open group, but there is little turn-over. Visitors are often surprised at how much commitment and time is required to prepare helpful critiques, and that’s in advance of the meetings. The group critiqued early drafts of Season of Hope and of everything else I’ve published. More important, we keep each other going when the rejections hit the double- and triple-digits. Seek out such groups through regional and national writers’ organizations. For example, if you write YA or children’s book, SCBWI can help you find a good critique group. If any writer has the opportunity to participate in a group like mine, joining is worth the effort.


Thank you for visiting and pick up a copy of Season of Hope today!