Author Interview: Melissa Jagears

Today we welcome Melissa Jagears, author of A Bride for Keeps shortlisted in the Debut Category.  Melissa is a stay-at home mom, an ESL teacher by trade and working on a fixer-upper in Kansas.   Enjoy!

17350829Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He’s already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn’t in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn’t given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she’ll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she’s experienced there.

Although Everett doesn’t see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other in long enough to fall in love?

What do you do outside the world of books?

I keep three little children alive, homeschool the oldest, do my church’s financial paperwork, and wish for a full-time maid. (I took the picture of my writing area when it was clean, right now it has Jenga blocks all under my feet, and a bunch of other toys strewn about, and lots more paper mess….that’s why I need a maid.)

As book lovers it interests us ~ what books or authors have influenced you, both as a reader and a writer?

A Lori Wick novel was a birthday present from a friend in junior high which created my love for Christian Historicals. As to anything else, with all the reading I’ve done, I realized I enjoy the romance thread the most. Whether or not it’s the romance genre, the romance is what I get caught up in and find most disappointing when it falls flat, so that’s how I decided to write romance, I’d write what I enjoy…..Even though I am NOT a romantic person in real life. An unfortunate problem for my romantic husband, who’s married to one of the least romantic women of all time. But it makes us laugh.

Melissa's Writing Area

Melissa’s Writing Area

What are the challenges of incorporating faith into your storyline?

The challenge is to make it short and authentic to the characters, yet meaty enough to be worthwhile.

What do you hope readers take away from A Bride for Keeps?

That the sin burdens you carry shouldn’t be carried alone. If someone loves you, they’ll forgive, just like Christ, no matter how bad. There is healing in confession.

Thank you for joining us Melissa!  To connect with Melissa visit her website | Facebook | Pinterest

  • Great interview! I really liked this book and can’t wait for the next one.

    I think you meet your goal cause I thought it was full of faith and a great length.

  • Thanks for letting me know I did what I set out to do, JuJu!

  • Love the picture of your office, especially that the computer monitor is stacked on top of a couple really ginormous books. 🙂

  • Oh, and congrats on finaling! I totally should have said that before.

  • I got that unabridged dictionary from an uncle when I was a kid (You know how excited a teenager gets when she gets gifted an unabridged dictionary!!!….oh, not every teenager thinks they hit the jackpot with that kind for gift????)….. 🙂 It gets a lot of comments! And thanks.

  • Great interview! I am wishing for a maid, too. 🙂

  • Great interview, Melissa! Love your answers to the faith question and what you want readers to walk away.

    Looking forward to reading book two. 🙂

  • I thoroughly enjoyed learning a bit more about you Melissa! And I’m with you – I think a full-time maid should be given to parents even before they leave the hospital with a wee one – of course, I haven’t figured out who would pay for this but it’s a grand idea! Looking forward to book 2!

  • Stacy, I love your idea, “must not leave hospital without car seat and maid.”

  • Rissi, I’m anxious for Book #2 to get out there too! I think it’s better, I’ve written oh, 4 books between A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, so I’m *fingers crossed* hoping readers will see the growth there!