Happy Monday, friends!
I hope you had a great bookish weekend! If not, let’s kick off this week with some bookish fun. I’ve got Melony Teague on the blog today to talk about her debut novel, A Promise to Keep. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us!
Toni: Thank you so much for joining me today! I’m so excited for your debut novel and to chat with you! First though, let’s get to know you a little better. What is your writing process like?
Melony: I’m a freelance writer, so much of my own writing time depends on how much time I have left over after I’ve completed deadlines for clients. I am very much deadline driven, so although I have personal projects on the go, the ones that get done first are the ones with deadlines. Right now I’m deciding on what to work on next. But once I do, I work out a realistic deadline for myself and work towards it. I like to have accountability and I am self-competitive. I find satisfaction in checking off chapters on a list. I’m not a very fast writer though, so it’s slow going. That is why I have to have a deadline, it forces me to get the word count or amount of chapters done completed in order to achieve a completed project. I think getting started is the hardest part, once I know where I am headed, it’s not so bad.
Thank you so much Toni!
Toni: I have to create my own deadlines too. It’s so helpful. What have been the last 3 books you’ve read that you loved and why?
Melony: I have been listening to some audio books while I knit scarves for my teenagers. I listened to Nancy Mehl’s Defenders of Justice series. Fatal Frost (book 1) and Dark Deception (book 2). I first became a fan when I read her latest series: The Kaely Quinn Profiler series, Mind Games and Fire Storm. Before that I read Jen Turano’s latest, Diamond in the Rough. I love Jen Turano’s characters and her laugh-out-loud style. I have a fondness for Romantic Suspense, so I read those too.
Toni: I ❤ Mind Games! So good. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Melony: Coffee in the morning, and tea in the afternoon.
Toni: Sensible. Milk or dark chocolate?
Melony: Both. I like all chocolate, no matter the color.
Toni: Hear hear! The past or present?
Toni: Same. Jeans or leggings?
Melony: Jeans — always! I left my leggings days back in the 80’s.
Toni: Lol, Now, let’s talk about the characters! Who is Savanah Sanderson? What would she say is her strength and weakness?
Melony: Savannah Sanderson is an immigrant from South Africa to the US and her parents brought her over with them as a girl. She married Nick, her high school sweetheart but life has dealt a few blows that have tarnished her optimism. Nick made her promise to go to their High School reunion and well, things spiral out of control from there.
Her greatest strength is her resilience. She’s had to survive some really tough things and although she is wounded and in need of healing, she is determined to move forward.
Toni: Wow! I want to know more! Tell us about the setting of A Promise to Keep.
Melony: We begin the book at Savannah’s high school reunion in the town of Point in NY. We get to know the little town she spent her high school years in before she graduated and left for college. Michael lives in Detroit, Michigan and attends their 20-year high school reunion begrudgingly. He doesn’t have good memories of high school for a few reasons which you’ll find out in the book. As for the rest of the settings, we hop over to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake (in Canada) for a bit. But mostly the book is set in the USA.
Toni: Love it! I’m so curious about Michael’s job. Can you tell us more? What kind of research did you have to do?
Melony: Michael is a technical rescuer. In other words, when regular routine rescue operations need specialized skills or if there are circumstances that demand specialist rescue attempts, Michael and his team are called in to work with the local first responders and crews. I was extremely blessed to have a local professional firefighter as a consultant and a physician who helped me double check the feasibility of some of the scenes. Part of my research was dragging my husband to a movie theater in downtown Toronto to watch the Oscar-winning documentary, Free Solo with Alex Honnold. Tara Ross, a fellow author, helped me out with some of the climbing lingo. The research part of this book was so much fun and inspiring.
Toni: Sounds like you found the right people! What’s the one message you’d like readers to receive after reading A Promise to Keep?
Melony: There’s always time for second chances, and even though life is hard, and messy, there is always hope. There are some promises we can count on, no matter what life brings. I guess I’d want them to come away being inspired to live in the moment, being present, and making choices that will bring quality to their relationships and lives.
Toni: Love that message! Last but not least, how can we pray for you on your writing journey?
Melony: That is so sweet of you to ask. Pray for wisdom and guidance as I chose which project to focus on next. I can either write something brand new, or revise a manuscript I already have. I’m praying about what to do next. Thank you!
Toni: We’ll be praying! Readers, do you have any questions for Melony?
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. With foamy lattes in-hand, she writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor. Though she has no hobbies outside of reading, writing, and eating chocolate, she is a member of ACFW and teaches seniors in her community to write their memoirs. She confesses with no shame that she has a strong belief that pumpkin pie is an acceptable breakfast food since it’s mostly vegetables. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in the melting pot that is Toronto with her husband, their two teenagers, and two cats who think they’re humans.