Carol Award winning writer, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides Series with Bethany House. The prequel ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and is free to try.
You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com
Welcome back to the blog, Melissa. I’m so happy to have you here today. Congratulations on your upcoming release, A Heart Most Certain. Love this cover! 🙂
I love the cover too, and what’s really cool is I sent them a mockup of the idea I wanted and they followed it! Meaning I’m totally flattered that Bethany’s art department (which rocks!) thought my idea was a good one! The cover they sent me first was almost exactly how it looks now except it was just green grasses and bushes and a plain white dress. It was missing color, so I asked them to color the dress, but when they decided to add the flowers and the multi-colored sky I was in love.
That is SO cool! I love comparing the two. The final cover is just perfect! 😉 Can you tell us what you love most about your hero and heroine in this story?
I love Lydia King’s obsession with books. Being a bookworm myself, I have trouble keeping every single one of my heroine’s from being bookworms, but I played up the bookworm characteristic with Lydia for all it was worth.
I love that Nicholas Lowe is my most Darcy-esque hero I’ve written. I always have my college roommate (who I turned into a Christian romance reader almost two decades ago—I take pride in that) read a draft and this was her comment on Nicholas: He’s like a burned marshmallow. Dark and crusty on the outside; mushy and sweet on the inside. 🙂
Haha! Love it! 😉 Any plans for how you’re going to celebrate your latest book release?
Sleeping and zoning out watching North & South? Oh wait, that’s to celebrate the deadline I have to meet right before that happens. I’m trying to think up something really cool for readers. If anyone wants to leave a comment on a cool celebration they’ve seen other authors do that they enjoyed, let me know in the comments. I might try to work it in for this book or the next.
What book(s) are you in the middle of reading right now?
When I’m behind on deadline I don’t dare touch my fiction TBR pile, since I am not one of those people who can read a chapter and put it down, I consume them. If there’s a book I’m not ignoring responsibilities for, then I’m probably not enjoying it. But! I do work on other people’s fiction and read non-fiction.
Right now, I’m editing the next novel in the Eagle Harbor Series by Naomi Rawlings. I don’t know when it will release, but you meet the hero and heroine in Love’s Sure Dawn. I think Love’s Sure Dawn is my favorite because I love a redeemed antagonist. I don’t understand readers who are hesitant to read a book where the previous bad boy becomes the hero. Maybe that’s because when I met my husband he was NOT Christian Romance Hero material, but he is now.
I’m almost done reading Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan. Almost done with that and it’s good and meaty.
I’m also reading Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce A. Ware with my 9 year old. It’s for children in upper elementary/middle school/junior high age. I heard about it on Christian radio as I was driving one day and the moment someone said it was like a systematic theology for kids I went home and ordered it. It’s actually a very good read aloud, there’s a lot of sentences that sort of repeat the same idea but said in a different way, but that’s probably really good for the one listening, especially when you’re trying to get a child to really grasp what the Trinity is since it’s not something we completely understand.
That’s wonderful. I’ll have to look those up!
I read that you homeschool you kids. I think that’s great! I was homeschooled as well. 😉 What is one of your greatest blessings of homeschooling your children? And what’s your greatest challenge?
The greatest blessing is spending time with my children, getting to really know them, figuring them out, and adjusting their schooling to meet their needs, so they can be the best they can be.
Greatest challenge…..spending time with my kids! Ha. They’re obviously great, but when I take personality tests, the scale showing how introverted you are is WAY up there for me. I don’t really get a break from ‘people’ anymore since they’re with me almost all the time. And when my husband comes home, he wants to spend time with me and sometimes by that point I’m like, “Can I please go hide in the closet or shed or garage or somewhere first? I just need to be alone staring at a wall for awhile or I might pop.”
If you could go back in time to any place and meet anyone, where would you go and who would it be?
I’m going to skip answering Jesus, because that’s a given, right? So I’d love to listen to a great theological thinker. Maybe C.S. Lewis. OH! I’d go to 1930/40s England and sit in on a Inklings meeting with him and Tolkien in attendance. Since there were no females in the group, I’d probably hide under the table so I could just listen, and then hope to join him on his walk home and simply ask him what he was thinking about theologically that day.
Aww, I LOVE that idea. How incredible would that be. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining us today, Melissa! I’m excited to read your next book!
Melissa has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of A Heart Most Certain to one lucky reader! (International readers will receive an e-copy) Enter below and it could be YOU!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for entering! Signed copy is for US residents only. International winner will receive an e-copy. Contest ends August 30, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!
I like the one with more color in it, it’s prettier.
I agree, Connie. It’s so pretty! Hope you get to read it soon. 🙂
Melissa, this is so cool. Thanks for sharing the journey of the cover.
Now must go share.
Hi Tina! It’s great to have you visit. Good luck in the giveaway!
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I can tell from both of them that I will love this one!
I do agree with Melissa, though, that it’s prettier with more colors.
Yes, it’s a great book, Connie. 🙂 Good luck in the drawing!
I like the one with the pink/peach (whatever color your computer brings it across as, lol). It just seems to catch my eye.
wfnren at aol dot com
It’s amazing how just a few small changes makes such a big difference, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for joining us, Wendy.
The first cover was beautiful but adding that color just made it gorgeous! I can’t wait to read this one!
Hope you get to read it real soon, Amanda!
I love the one with color and flowers, but they are both very lovely.
Thanks for stopping by, Lucy! Have a great week. 🙂
I like the first one. The colors are brighter. Thanks for the chance to win.
Good luck in the drawing, Vickie! We appreciate you stopping by.
What a fun transformation of the cover. I love it with more color. It definitely adds interest to it. Your book looks and sounds fascinating.
It’s such fun comparing the two. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Winnie. Good luck and happy reading!
I love the flowers ~ really pulls out the sash color at her waist. Pretty! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
Yeah, the flowers really add a lot. Thanks for joining us, Kathleen. Good luck!
I LOVE the cover with all the added color to the flowers, her dress, and the multi-colors in the sky. It totally transforms the cover and makes it pop. It’s so warm and inviting….just gorgeous!
I know, it totally drew me in the first time I saw it. Pretty covers are so much fun. 😉 Thanks for sharing, Alison.
Looks like a great book,thanks for a chance to win
Good luck in the drawing, Martha!
I like the one with the flowers and colored sash. Much more eye-catching
Seems like we’re all in agreement. 😉 So glad you could join us, Anne.
Very fun interview! And of course, giveaway! I can’t wait to read this book. I’ve loved each of Melissa’s past books. <3
As for the covers…hard choice! I do love the more colourful one, but that first one has a beautiful calm-feeling to it. So, I don't know. ^.^ Both are truly gorgeous, and definitely eye-catching!
So glad you could join us, Raechel. You make a good point, the first one does have a very calm, peaceful feel. 🙂 Good luck in the giveaway!
I like the cover with the flowers and more color because the more color a cover has it catches my attention
It sure caught my attention too. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Kirsten!
I like the cover with the flowers and color it stands out more and I would be more willing to buy the book.
Isn’t it amazing how much a cover affects the reader’s interest? It’s very powerful in convincing me to buy a book too. Even though I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, it’s hard not to sometimes. Hope you get to read this one, Kim. I really enjoyed it.
I can’t wait to read Melissa’s latest book! I love the final cover. I agree that the extra colors really make for a beautiful cover and really make it pop. Thanks for sharing. 😃
Hope you get to read it soon, Jennifer!
Beautiful cover! Am glad they made the changes!
Me too, Joan. 😉 I’m glad you could join us! Good luck.
I like the final cover. It has much more color and really gets the readers attention. Very pretty.
Thanks for stopping by, Merry!
Definitely prefer the final cover as it is much more eye-catching but still somewhat understated overall, while giving a good hint of what one might find within the pages.
You said it perfectly, Cathy. 🙂
Melissa, I so enjoyed reading the backstory of the cover. I agree Bethany’s art department does AMAZING covers. The final one has the WOW factor. The colors and flowers bring such depth.
They do, I consider myself lucky. And I thought I’d never love a cover better than my A Bride for Keeps, though that one catches the story perfectly, this one is just, as you said, Wow!
Hi Caryl! You’re right. I love Bethany House covers! 🙂
The final cover, I like the addition of the flowers.
Thanks for joining us, Amanda. 🙂
The original one is very nice, but you certainly made the right call by requesting additional color. The accents make this cover pop.
Good luck in the drawing, Sylvia!
I also love the flowers and the different hues of the shy. It is a beautiful cover!
I know, the sky really caught my eye too. So pretty and bright! Thanks for sharing, Connie.
I am so glad they took your advice on adding cover – it just pops and looks spectacular. It and the story within are both beauties.
Aw, thanks, Beth!
Oh yay! You’ve read it then, Beth? Isn’t it great? 🙂
I like the final one with the flowers and more color in the sky! It catches my eye much faster than the plainer one. Thank you for the interview and giveaway!
Thank you for stopping by, Donna. Good luck in the drawing too. 😉
I prefer the one with the flowers. It is more colorful and bright. Thanks for the giveaway.
We appreciate you joining us for the interview, Marilyn. Good luck to you!
I definitely love the one with the flowers in the background and the added color! 🙂
What a fun interview! I love learning more about my “favorite” authors…well, they’re all my favorite 🙂 I’ve already read, reviewed and enjoyed this book so I am not entering the contest. I just wanted to pop in and read the post, share it on FB & twitter and comment. 🙂
Thanks so much Trixi, soon there will be no secrets about me considering I have to keep coming up with new things in interviews! 🙂
Hi sweet Trixi! Can I just say how awesome you are? 🙂 I love your enthusiastic support of these authors. We’re so glad to have you stop in and say hi! Thanks for sharing the post too. Hugs!
I love the final version of this book. It’s such a wonderful story. The description of Nicholas as “like a burned marshmallow. Dark and crusty on the outside; mushy and sweet on the inside” is so apt. I can really relate to Melissa needing to hide in the shed or somewhere by herself. I work with kids at a school (my kids are grown and on their own). Though I really enjoy my job, I’m so happy to come home and spend the evening by myself. I spend lots of time home alone in the summer, but I’m not really alone because I have my book characters to keep me company. I am quite content!
The burnt marshmallow is pretty perfect for him. A summer full of books sounds great.
Yes, love your description of him, Pam. 🙂 So glad you stopped by. Hope your summer is going great so far!
I like the final cover of A Most Certain Heart best. The first one is nice, but the colors of the final one are more warm and inviting.
Yep, looks like we all agree. 🙂 How fun! Thanks for stopping by, Julie!
Such a beautiful cover…Can’t wait to read…Thankyou Sweet Lady for sharing from your heart.
Hope you get to read it soon, Elizabeth! 🙂
I like the cover with the flowers and the red sash. The color just adds to the picture.
This sounds like a very interesting book.
Yes, definitely check it out, Brenda. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! 🙂
I love the beauty of God’s creation, so the sunset/sunrise in this final version is just the right touch. Great idea, Melissa!
Hi Cynthia! So happy you could stop by. Good luck in the giveaway, friend!
Would love to win. Thanks for the chance.
Good luck, Kim! 🙂
The cover looks great!! Thanks for the chance to win this book!!
We’re glad you could join us, Megan! Good luck. 🙂
I like the first one on the page. I like the color of the flowers and it adds some depth to the title. Really makes me want to read the book even more.
Isn’t it great? Hope you get to read and enjoy it soon, Dianne. 🙂