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: 

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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.

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!

New Series Coming, Y’all!

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve signed a three-book series with Anaiah Press!

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve signed a three-book series with Anaiah Press!

As many of you know, I’ve been on a writing hiatus. Mostly because I’ve been learning how to live life in the fast-paced world of the United States, but there’s a bigger, broader reason why. I hadn’t been happy with where my writing was going, and after much soul-searching and prayer, I decided it was time to write what I read … Christian Romance! So, I did a 180 switch and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m also very pleased to be working with my long-time favorite Christian publisher, Anaiah Press. I’m confident my books are with the right people, and most importantly in the place God wants my new writing career to begin.

About Hill Country Series

Since moving to Texas four years ago, a cowboy series has taken shape. If you know anything about the enormous state of Texas, there is the most beautiful area called Hill Country. I thought it’d be a good idea to create an actual community called Hill Country. Soon, the Blackstone family materialized and they have been so fun to write! Take a look at the unofficial blurbs below.

Book covers coming soon!

Book 1: THE CHRISTMAS RANCH Christmas Novella (Hill Country Series)

Megan Palmer, a TV journalist for True Faith Network, is assigned to report on Flying B Ranch, which is known for its Christmas lights and tree farm. She assumes it will be an easy assignment—until she meets owner Brody Blackstone, a single father and cowboy. Now she must decide what’s truly important — her career or her heart.

With his ranch in jeopardy and family responsibilities, Brody has given up on relationships. But when Megan shows up, his life is turned upside down. Can he move forward and learn to listen to God? Or will his usual stubborn ways cause him to lose everything? 

Book 2: THE COWBOY RESCUE (Hill Country Series)

When Colton Blackstone comes to the rescue as the new horse vet at Davis Animal Clinic, he meets and becomes friends with office manager, Lauren Davis. Fed up with unwanted advances from an old friend, Lauren seeks Colton’s rescue again, asking him to pretend to be her boyfriend. Soon, the whole town thinks they’re a “thing”, despite Colton’s serial dating tendencies. Will Lauren be the one to show Colton that he is a forever kind of cowboy?

Book 3: THE RODEO REBEL (Hill Country Series)

Sadie Blackstone, rodeo star and queen, won’t let a little accident get in her way. Despite her brothers insisting she not race anymore, Sadie accepts help from her neighbor and ex-boyfriend, Ethan Franklin. Soon, sparks fly between the two again. Will Sadie hop back on the saddle and win the big Hill Country Rodeo title and Ethan Franklin’s heart?


So, what do you think? Ready for some cowboys?