April 5, 2015

From the Start by Melissa Tagg - Review and Interview

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

From the Start by Melissa Tagg
Walker Family #1
ISBN: 9780764213076

Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. 

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?

This is my first book by this author and I am so happy I got picked to read this. I really enjoyed her writing style it seems to just flow throughout the entire book. The characters Kate and Colton were so real. Colton is one of those people that you want reach through the book and say what are you thinking. I am a big fan of NFL football so Colton's ties to that were an added bonus for me. This is a nice clean romance that anyone could read and enjoy. I also like how Melissa uses a Christian theme to this book but it is not in your face. It is subtle and therefore comes out when you are not necessarily expecting it. From the Start is one of those books that you will want to stay up long into the night finishing it. I recommend this book to both teen and adults readers looking for a good romance that really pulls you into the story. I will be anxiously awaiting for the next book in this series. Also there is a novella called Three Little Words that comes before this story that you might want to check out. 

About the author:
Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.

1.      Who or what inspired you to start writing?
Honestly, I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I was a total bookworm as a kid and at some point, had this realization that, hey, somebody out there is writing these stories I’m reading. I should do that, too!

2. What do you do to help you get over writer's block?
Great question! I like to say that professional writers don’t get writer’s block…because we can’t due to a little thing called “the deadline.”

However, I do have times when my writing energy dwindles down to nothing and my creativity feels nonexistent. In those times, what really helps me is popping in a classic movie with snappy dialogue—something like His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby. The fast-paced dialogue always gets my brain buzzing. An episode of Gilmore Girls also does the trick.

3. Do you have scheduled writing time or a certain amount of words you write each day?
It somewhat depends on whether or not I’m nearing a deadline. When I’m near a deadline, I pretty much write whenever I’m not at work or in bed.

But generally, if I’ve got plenty of time until a deadline, I like to write about 1,500-2,000 words a day…about the length of one scene. On Saturdays I’ll write more, but on a weekday when I’m also working a day job, one scene tends to be my sweet spot.

4. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Oh my, all over the place! Snippets of overheard conversations. Classic movies. Random “what if?” questions that pop into my brain. They really do come from anywhere and everywhere! I like to think, too, that sometimes God just drops ideas into my head. After all, he’s the original and best Storyteller.

5. When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I love, love, love spending time with my family! Traveling, road trips, seeing new places, eating at new restaurants. I’m still a bookworm at heart and can never get enough time to read, it seems. And though it sounds incredibly un-adventurous, I really love taking walks.

6. What one piece of advice would you like to give to aspiring writers?
There’s sooo much good advice I could give—most of it advice that was given to me by people much smarter and more experienced than I. Read lots. Write, don’t just talk about writing. Find a writing community. Study the craft. Start building your platform now.

But one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard is to embrace rewriting. It’s so true that writing is really about rewriting. It can be intimidating to rip apart your own story, even start from scratch if needed…but it’s also one of the best, best things you can do. Don’t settle for a good scene when, with a little (or, okay, a lot!) of extra work, you can make it shine.

7. Who is your favorite author or book that you would like to recommend to your readers?
Hard question because I love so, so many books and authors. So I’m going to list the two most amazing books I’ve read recently, if that’s okay:

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron
The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

I honestly can’t gush enough about both of them! Some of the most gorgeous storytelling out there.

8. If you could meet any famous person dead or alive who would it be and why?
I’ve been asked this question before and I think I give a different answer each time! There are just so many interesting people it’d be fun to meet. Today’s answer is Katharine Hepburn. She’s my faaaavorite actress and from what I’ve read of her, a strong, determined woman. Also, she normalized pants for women…and I’m grateful for that. LOL!

9. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you like to visit?
You ask such good and difficult questions. Haha!! Can I cheat and say Europe? Because that would encompass so many places I’d love to visit/revisit—Italy, Greece, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Germany…

But if I have to get specific and just say one place, I’d probably go with London. I’ve been there multiple times already, but I have such good memories. I’d love to catch up with friends there.

10. 5 interesting facts about yourself
Okay, here are five facts. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether they count as “interesting.”

1. When I was a kid, my biggest dream was to become an author. But my second biggest dream was to be in a band. And, well, I’m not sure that dream has ever faded… *she admits while dreaming of touring the country with her favorite band*

2. As a reporter, I met and interviewed almost every candidate in the 2008 presidential election…except the one who actually ended up becoming president.

3. I have never mowed a lawn.

4. I am so interested in classic movies that I have been known to watch movie faves once…and then immediately watch them a second time with commentary.

5. I love cleaning out closets. Weird, I know!

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