Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Melissa Tagg & All This Time

Posted October 2, 2017 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Melissa Tagg, romance / 130 Comments

I have loved following this author’s facebook posts, even before I’d read one of her books. She’s all kinds of delightful and real, and I have total decor envy about her cute home. I had the privilege of meeting her at this year’s CFRR in Cincinnati and I’m pretty sure my friends and I had her rethinking her decision to attend when we ran squealing out of the hotel to greet her (and Courtney Walsh and Katie Ganshert) in the parking lot 😉

Author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. Her books have made both the Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten and Amazon bestselling lists. 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.

Melissa loves connecting with readers on her website and on Facebook and Instagram.

Her new book, All This Time, released September 28th.

Bear McKinley’s past refuses to let go.

Ten years ago, Bear gave up everything—his freedom and his reputation—for his mess of a family. But after years of distance and too many attempts at starting over, he finally has a new life doing noble work in Brazil . . . until his past catches up to him once again. Suddenly he finds himself back in Maple Valley, charged with the care of his missing brother’s children, convinced he’s out of second chances to make his life count. And yet, with every day that passes, these kids, this quirky town and the woman he never stopped missing help patch the holes in his heart. Maybe this is the fresh start he’s been longing for all along. But as his newfound hope grows, so does the mystery surrounding his brother’s activities—and when the threat reaches into the lives of those he loves, it’s clear he can’t run away this time.

Fear holds Raegan’s future captive.

Raegan Walker is fine. She’s happy working a slew of part-time jobs, still living in her childhood bedroom and rarely venturing from her hometown. At least, that’s what she tells everyone . . . and herself. But she can’t help wondering what might’ve happened if she hadn’t abandoned her art so many years ago—and if Bear McKinley had never left. When Bear returns and she’s commissioned for a painting that just might revive her artistic ambition all in one week, it’s time to finally reach for more than fine. But doing so means facing the fears that have held her back all this time, including admitting the secret she’s kept from Bear and her family. With her dream and her heart on the line, how much will Raegan have to risk to finally chase her happy ending?

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Hi Melissa! Welcome back to the blog! You’ve been here for guest posts but never for a chat! I’m excited 😀

apples or oranges

Melissa: Apples! Because they remind me of fall. And because I love apple orchards. And apple cider. And pink lady apples with peanut butter is basically a staple meal in my life. ALSO honeycrisp apples are one of God’s greatest creations! 

Carrie: Amen & amen & amen.

winter or summer

Melissa: Okay, people all over Iowa would groan to hear me say this but, honestly, lately I’m all about winter. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good, breezy, carefree summer evening. But the older I get, the more I love winter. I looooove snow. I love how it sparkles. I love being inside with a good book by the fireplace during a blizzard. Winter just feels romantic to me.

Carrie: Yesssss! Exactly how I feel. And we don’t get nearly enough winter down here in Kentucky…

dogs or cats

Melissa: Dogs. I don’t really see how there can be any other answer to this. Some things in life are personal preference, but some are just right or wrong, black or white. And “dogs” will always be the right answer. 🙂

(Although, if baby goats were an option…)

Carrie: You totally had me until you went for ‘baby goats’ LOL. I was desperately trying to find a place to stay in ATL not too long ago, and one b&b boasted ‘baby goats’. Nope. #farmanimalphobia 😉

coffee or tea

Melissa: I have both a t-shirt and a coffee mug that say, “I drink coffee like a Gilmore Girl.” I think that answers the question. 

Carrie: haha! yes…

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Melissa: My superpower would be saying the alphabet backwards really fast. It’s a pointless superpower, but it’s my superpower. My other superpower is aunting…something I take ultra seriously. I believe hardcore in ultra-spoiling my nieces and nephew and doing every little thing they ask me to do, even if it means climbing inside a cardboard box or teaching them how to slide across the kitchen floor in socks or reading the same book eight thousand times.

Carrie: Aunting is the super-est of superpowers!

Q: If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?

Melissa: I love this question and you’d think it’d be super hard for a bookworm to answer, but I (mostly) know exactly which five I’d pick!

Christy by Catherine Marshall
The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton (I actually struggled to pick which Lori Benton book because I adore all of hers—hence why I said “mostly” above! In my ideal world, all five would be available in one mega-collection and it’d count as one book. LOL!)
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Carrie: oooo yes! Those are all excellent choices! The Lady & The Lionheart would be one of mine too.

Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?

Melissa: Haha! Oh my, I think it would tell you I’m not nearly as put-together as I might hope to be. You’d find half a bag of baby carrots. This is not abnormal. You’d find a thousand gum wrappers. You’d find this cute little polar bear bag that is supposed to hold my chapstick and lip gloss and other items, but no…it’s unzipped and all those things have spilled out. You’d see two pairs of sunglasses because I lost one pair, so I bought a second pair, but then I found the first pair…

Yeahhh… 🙂

Carrie: hahahaha!

Q: Bear and Raegan have been supporting characters in the previous Walker family books. Did you have their story (and backstories) already planned when you first introduced them or did it evolve as you went along?

Melissa: Nope, I definitely didn’t have their backstories planned. Not even a little bit. Bear just sort of accidentally appeared in the first Walker story—the prequel novella—but as soon as he walked onto the page, I had the sense that there was more to his story. But I was always so caught up in other characters that I simply didn’t have a chance to delve too deeply into his backstory.

And Raegan…all I knew about her was that she was the one Walker sibling who’d never left home…and that she was pretty much head-over-heels for Bear from the day she met him. (Because, I mean, he’s Bear.)

So approaching this final story was interesting because I had these two characters I loved, but barely knew. I’d dropped little hints in past stories, but I really didn’t know what any of those hints meant. It was a slow process of discovery, but the more I got to know Bear and Raegan, the more I realized that—just like with all my past stories—I was meant to write this story at this time. It ended up being very personal, very vulnerable…and I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything.

Carrie: I love that! Their backstories are so rich in ALL THIS TIME. I’m also partial to this hero (even though Logan still exists) because my brand new nephew is called Bear (short for Barrett) ♥ I’ll have to find him a Raegan 🙂

Q: As the Walker Family series comes to an end (wail!), what is something that you personally have treasured from each book?

Melissa: Oh, what a lovely question! Thank you for giving me the chance to look back…

Three Little Words: This was the first novella I’d ever written and it was just a complete and total joy to write from start to finish. I discovered how wonderful it feels to write something a little shorter, a little simpler, and just let myself savor the romance angle rather than get caught in the weeds of so many subplots and layers.

From the Start: Hardest book I’ve ever written, hands-down. Mostly because Kate Walker probably has more of me in her than anything I’ve ever written. I didn’t treasure it at the time, but now I can look back and be grateful for the way God whispered exactly what I needed to hear during a tough season in my life as I wrote that book.

Like Never Before: Logan! Logan! Logan! I just treasure Logan forever and ever. If he were a real person, I would have no choice but to push Amelia aside and insert myself into his life and insist he marry me. That book, to me, helped me discover the joy of writing again and I’m thankful to this day.

Keep Holding On: What I treasure from this book is the fact that when I started writing it, I thought it was about holding onto faith even in the hardest seasons…but by the time I reached the end, I realized it was really about how God holds on to us, even when we’re ready to let go. It was a reminder of his faithfulness.

All This Time: Writing this book felt so hefty and emotional and I know it’s partially because I so badly wanted to finish the series well. But I also felt more freedom with this book than I’ve ever felt before. I feel like I pushed myself further as an author…and that was exciting! Mostly with this one, though, I just treasure the joy of having written this series…looking back, it’s just been such a cool journey and I am immensely grateful.

Carrie: I love so much how we can see God’s fingerprints all over each book – your insights make that even clearer. ♥

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from All This Time?

Melissa: There’s a spot in All This Time where Raegan and her dad are finally getting honest with each other about some things and Raegan makes the remark, “Why do we keep anything from the people we love?” And to me, that’s what her whole journey is about…it’s about being honest, about being in real relationship. It’s about facing the fears that have kept her from living the life she was meant to live. It’s about being vulnerable. To me, personally, that’s an incredibly hard thing. Even with the people I love most, I’m not always willing to bare my heart. I heard someone say once that most people are willing to go 90% of the way in relationships, but that even with the people we’re closest to, we leave 10% unsaid. That’s stuck with me ever since he said it. Raegan’s journey is about being brave enough to go that last 10%…and I hope that’s something that impacts readers as much as it impacted me.

Carrie: So important!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Melissa: I’ve got my final Enchanted Christmas novella coming out later this fall—One Enchanted Noel. Plus, the whole Christmas collection will come out in paperback. And after that, I’ve got some options in the works, but mostly I’m not making any decisions until after the holidays. I can say that I don’t think people have seen the last of Maple Valley…and there are definitely some side characters readers have already met who are antsy for their own stories. 🙂

Carrie: YAY!!!! Yay!!! Yay!!!

Melissa is offering a copy of All This Time (winner’s choice of print or ebook) to one of my readers (US only). This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? If you’ve read the Walker Family books, which character/book is your favorite? If you haven’t read them yet, which book interests you the most?

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130 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Melissa Tagg & All This Time

  1. Suzie Waltner

    Tough questions. I like all of the Walkers! Either Seth or Beckett wins my favorite vote (but I reserve the right to change my mind after reading All This Time!). Love Melissa and her transparency (and often times humorous posts).

  2. Kailey Bechtel

    I haven’t read any of Melissa’s books yet, but I have Three Little Words waiting for me on my IPad.

  3. Jeanne C

    I LOVE the Walker Series and adore author Melissa Tagg. She cracks me up, love the “realness” of her posts and stories. That is a tough question as to what character/book is my favorite. I’ve loved them all. If I have to pick just one, I’d say Logan. Thanks for the fun interview! And the chance to win!

  4. Andrea Stephens

    I LOVE this post SO much! I loved Melissa from the first time I read something she posted on Facebook. I actually saw her before officially meeting her at CFRR, I was looking for a working ice machine, she was frazzled and looking for an elevator. I could not speak! I squealed a bit and all I could think was “That’s Melissa Tagg” over and over. When I met her later, she was such a sweetheart 🙂
    I love Maple Valley and have all the books on my Kindle, now if I can just eek out some time to read “All This Time” all at once, I will be a happy lady. I know if I start and have to put it down, I will be a grump, so I must wait.

  5. Carol Alscheff

    I don’t think I have ever read a book by Melissa Tagg but I definitely would like to. Since I haven’t read a book in this series I dont have a favorite character but I would like to. Bear looks interesting. If I read this book I could start with him.

  6. I have four of Melissa Tagg’s books, still need “Keep Holding On” and “All This Time”.

    I can’t pick a favorite character, it is just too hard. 🙂 I think I enjoy “Like Never Before” slightly more than “From The Start”.

    • Like Never Before was definitely one of the best writing experiences I’ve ever had. Partially because of how much I adore Logan…but also because, like I noted in the Q&A, the whole experience was really a return of my writing joy after a particularly hard creative season. I’m so grateful for that book!

  7. Winnie Thomas

    I still have a couple of Melissa’s books to read. I can’t pick a favorite character. They’re all wonderful. I love Melissa’s adorable sense of humor and fun.

    Thanks for the interview. I would definitely choose some of the same books if I could only have 5. I adore Julianne Donaldson’s books. I haven’t read any of Lori Benton’s books yet, but I plan to read them soon.

  8. Jeanne

    I haven’t read any of Melissa’s book yet, but this latest one sounds like a great story. Does it ruin anything to read the last one first?

    • Carrie

      not really … though there are couples together in the last book that have fallen in love throughout the series

    • Yep, Carrie’s right. It doesn’t hurt to read this series out of order…in later books you’ll see couples together who fall in love in earlier books, but that shouldn’t ruin anything. 🙂

  9. Michelle Lunsford

    Thanks for the introduction to this author. I now have “Three Little Words” waiting on my Nook. Looking forward to getting to know the Walker family and Maple Valley.

  10. Vivian Furbay

    Would love to win a copy of All This time. It sounds like a sweet love story what with a bachelor raising kids and a girl who used to be interested in him.

  11. Evangeline

    Melissa is a new author to me, and I have not read any of her books. But I surely would love to win a copy of this one! Thanks for the chance. ?

  12. Brenda Murphree

    I have Three Little Words but have not had a chance to read it yet. I haven’t ever read her books.

  13. Rachael

    Part of me loves Three Little Words most–it’s one of very few novellas that when I finished I felt like I’d read a full-length novel (and one of very few novellas that I have rated 5 stars)–but I loved Keep Holding On too, especially the message within it. Really looking forward to All This Time!

    • Oh I’m so happy to hear that about Three Little Words, Rachael. It’s the first novella I’d ever written and I had no idea how it’d go once I started writing. But it seemed to just write itself! By far one of the smoothest writing experiences I’ve ever had…and now I LOVE writing novellas! It’s fun to reach The End so much quicker than what I do with full-length books. 🙂

  14. Kay Garrett

    Melissa Tagg is a new author to me but now that I’ve met her through your interview and learn about the Walker Family books, I’d love to read them all.

  15. Pam K.

    I haven’t read any of the Walker family books yet but they all sound interesting. I’d like to start with the first book and read straight through the series.

  16. Perrianne Askew

    I have not read this series yet, so I would be very happy to have any of the,. I always love a new author. Thank you formthe giveaway opportunity.

  17. Gloria A

    I have them all except for All This Time but I haven’t read them. I am looking forward to it. I like to wait and read the whole series one after the other.

  18. emilee

    I have read all her novels except All This Time. I love the Walkers. The dad is great. And the town is so much fun.

  19. Merry

    I have only read Like Never Before so far. I loved both Logan and Amelia. I am thinking swoon worthy describes Logan for sure!

    • YAY I’m so happy to hear you’ve read One Enchanted Christmas! I’ve got the third novella in that collection releasing later this year and am currently just diving into it. I’m SUPER excited about it!

  20. Linda

    I got hooked on Melissa’s writing with Three Little Words, and have loved all of her books. I don’t know if I could choose a favorite character, but I want to move to Maple Valley! It is killing me to not have read All This Time yet (darn those early morning work shifts) but I have a plane trip coming up and a loaded kindle. I’ve also been buying the print books so that I can loan them out, because friends share wonderful books with friends!

    • Awwww thank you so much, Linda! I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed the series. I wish I could move to Maple Valley, too. WHY can’t it be a real place?!?! 🙂

  21. Nicole

    I love Melissa’s books! I’m currently reading Keep Holding On and can’t wait to read All This Time. I don’t know if I can pick a favorite character. Maybe Kate? And I would love to get some wisdom from Case!

  22. Shannon

    This is a series that has been on my TBR from the beginning, and I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Gotta find the time! It’s one I really want to read.

  23. Candice Valdez

    Tough choice! I haven’t read All This Time yet, but so far my favorite has been From the Start.

  24. Tonya Robinette

    I haven’t read any yet. But I really want to read them all. This last one with Bear and Reagan sounds really good.

  25. Bonnie Howard

    I always enjoy getting to see a more personal side of an author, through interviews or seeing them in person. I haven’t had the opportunity to read Melissa Tagg’s books,but I plan to! I’m intrigued!
    I love what she said about the 10% unsaid. Gave me something to think about.

  26. I haven’t read this series yet. And, I can’t decide which one intrigues me the most. So, I will just have to read all of them!!!

  27. I haven’t read any yet, but I’ve been following Melissa on FB for a while. I love her posts! I can’t wait to get my hands on her books.

  28. Anne

    I have not as yet read Melissa’s captivating novels. I look forward toe njoying them and they are treasures.

  29. Heather Lowe

    Is it wrong to say that Bear is my favorite and that I have been anxiously waiting for his story?

  30. Gina Scott

    I love every Melissa Tagg book that I have read. Can’t pick a favorite one until I read the last one in the Walker family. Keep the storylines coming!!! Can’t wait to see what the future months bring!

  31. Dawn Williams

    This book sounds great. I adore books that are more than a love story but also dwell on the characters and what they are going through.

  32. Oh my gosh… I have to pick one? I think it would be Logan and Amelia because I loved the instant chemistry between them and the way they just bounced right off each other. The easy banter in their dialogue was easily some of the best I’ve read!

  33. This was such a fun interview!! It is SOOOOO hard to choose a favorite character, but mine might be Kit. She reminded me a lot of myself. I’m hoping to finish “All This Time” this afternoon, and I have to say I think Bear may be my favorite hero in the series. 🙂

  34. Grace

    I really enjoyed the first one, From the Start. I enjoy reading and writing romance novels, so reading one with the heroine having that occupation? I’m all about that. 🙂

  35. Lindsay Bryant

    I have not read any of her books but I am looking forward to starting at the beginning with Three Little Words

  36. Lovely and fun interview! I think I’ve missed a few of the books, which is sad because I loved From the Start and gave it 5 stars on my blog a couple years ago. I NEED to read the entire series so I guess I had better do some scouting around and find them. 🙂

  37. Linda Moffitt

    I haven’t read any yet 🙁
    I would want to read Book #1, 1st even if you don’t have to

  38. Karen Klepsteen

    I’ve only read Like Never Before, and I absolutely loved it! I agree that Logan is amazing. I can’t wait to catch up on the rest of the series!!!

  39. Meg T.

    I’ve read both Kate’s and Logan’s books… Not really sure that I could choose a favorite; maybe it will be “All This Time”. 🙂

  40. I’ve read all the books (absolutely loved them!!), but… you ask too hard a question! I don’t think I could ever choose a favorite. I mean, that’s almost like asking if I have a favorite friend. :/

  41. Terrill R.

    I haven’t yet read any of the Walker Series, but some of my favorite bloggers (wink) love them! I have read Melissa Tagg’s Where Love Begins books and enjoyed them – especially Here to Stay. I’m looking forward to reading the complete Walker series, but maybe most excited to read Like Never Before. That one has been recommended over and over and it’s got a deliciously cute cover. 🙂

  42. I don’t think I’ve read any of Melissa’s books yet…although I’m beginning to catch on that this is a must! 🙂 I’d really like to read this most recent book of hers!

  43. Pat Cory

    After reading this interview, I am sad to say that I haven’t read any of Met issa’s books. But from the review above of each of the Walker series books, I’m sure that is going to change. They all sound amazing. Sure hope I win this contest and start what I’m sure will be an enjoyable reading journey. All This Time is the one I would love to have to start with.

  44. I do not believe I have read these. But, I think Melissa sat in front of me at CFRR. So clearly I need to read her books. 🙂

    I would start with All this Time!

  45. Chanel Monroe

    I haven’t read any of the Walker books yet. But they are next on my TBR list. Besides the positive reviews I’ve read about the series, I really like the titles for each book. When I read the titles, it makes me think about the possible themes for each book and I’m really intrigued to find out. Plus, the covers are pretty.

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